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"Missed Opportunity": African Americans, Minorities Deserve More Details on Candidates' Chronic Disease Plans

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 29, 2007) - The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) issued the following statement in response to last night's PBS All-American Presidential Forum at Howard University in Washington, D.C.:"African Americans and other minorities suffer disproportionately from chronic diseases, in part because of disparities in access to quality health care. While Democrat candidates rightly used last night's debate to identify challenges facing the nation's minorities, the lack of substantive discussion of how candidates would work to prevent chronic disease made the debate a missed opportunity."Several candidates have offered robust health care proposals that recognize and address the threat that chronic disease poses to Americans. We strongly urge all those seeking national office to engage in this important discussion. Only by outlining strategies to help America reduce the loss of life and financial burdens brought on by chronic disease do candidates demonstrate that they are serious about taking on the real health care challenges."A recent survey by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) found that 91 percent of Americans believe it is important for 2008 Presidential candidates to have a plan to reduce chronic disease, while 81 percent believe the United States should prioritize our heath care dollars to "invest more in preventative measures to ensure that diseases are prevented or kept from becoming more serious."About the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease:The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is a national coalition of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability, and rising health care costs in the U.S.: chronic disease.The PFCD's mission is to:

  • Challenge policymakers - in particular, the 2008 presidential candidates - to make the issue of chronic disease a top priority and articulate how they will address the issue through their health care proposals
  • Educate the public about chronic disease and potential solutions for individuals, communities, and the nation
  • Mobilize Americans to call for change in how policymakers, governments, employers, health institutions, and other entities approach chronic disease

Leaders in the effort represent more than 50 leading organizations from across health care, business and labor including Aetna, American Academy of Family Physicians, Alliance for Aging Research, American Academy of Physician Assistants, American College of Nurse Practitioners, American College of Preventive Medicine, American Hospital Association, American Pharmacists Association Foundation, Disease Management Association of America, Kerr Drug, Integrated Benefits Institute, International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, NAACP, Milken Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, National Medical Association, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Service Employees International Union, Sheet Metal Workers International Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and YMCA of the USA, among others.