Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments (1)

Democrats and Republicans Agree On At Least One Healthcare Issue

I posted this at today… but it is displaying some weird code, so I decided to repost it here.


For the first time in recent memory the Republicans and the Democrats are on the same page on a healthcare issue: the problem of chronic disease. Former Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona told me that chronic disease contributes more to healthcare costs than any other single issue, and that many chronic diseases are preventable through diet and lifestyle measures. Both political parties seem to agree that America must become a “wellness” culture. However, they don’t exactly agree on how that may be achieved. The Democrats would expand the government’s role in stimulating healthy behaviors while the Republicans would use market forces and grass roots efforts to encourage personal accountability.


An Emphasis on Prevention and Wellness.

Chronic diseases account for 70 percent of the nation’s overall health care spending. We need to promote healthy lifestyles and disease prevention and management especially with health promotion programs at work and physical education in schools. All Americans should be empowered to promote wellness and have access to preventive services to impede the development of costly chronic conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Chronic-care and behavioral health management should be assured for all Americans who require care coordination. This includes assistance for those recovering from traumatic, life-altering injuries and illnesses as well as those with mental health and substance use disorders. We should promote additional tobacco and substance abuse prevention. (“Renewing America’s Promise,” pg. 10).


Prevent Disease and End the “Sick Care” SystemChronic diseases — in many cases, preventable conditions — are driving health care costs, consuming three of every four health care dollars. We can reduce demand for medical care by fostering personal responsibility within a culture of wellness, while increasing access to preventive services, including improved nutrition and breakthrough medications that keep people healthy and out of the hospital. To reduce the incidence of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and stroke, we call for a national grassroots campaign against obesity, especially among children. We call for continuation of efforts to decrease use of tobacco, especially among the young. (“2008 Republican Platform,” pg. 38).

Whichever party is elected this November, one thing is certain – more emphasis will be placed on encouraging Americans to adopt healthier lifestyles. The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease is doing its part to coordinate these efforts and raise awareness of lifestyle modification programs that work. As for me, I’ve traded my car for a pedometer.

This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

You may also like these posts

    None Found

Read comments »

One Response to “Democrats and Republicans Agree On At Least One Healthcare Issue”

  1. RH Host Melissa says:

    Hello Dr. Val.  Thanks for sharing this with us.  It’s a very important issue and one that I think will have a big impact in the November election.  Thanks again for taking the time to share 🙂  Have a great day!

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »

Commented - Most Popular Articles