National Campaign Urged Against Chronic Diseases

The new Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease consists of nearly 60 groups, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Hospital Association, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. They are allied in urging the fight against chronic diseases to become the nation's No. 1 health care issue -- and also trying to place it in the spotlight of presidential politics.

"Our goal is to restructure and reframe the debate on health care reform," the group's executive director, Ken Thorpe, Ph.D., chair of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, told the American Medical Association's AM News service.

The partnership debuted May 15 in Washington, D.C., the service reports. Chronic diseases include asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer; together, they are responsible for seven out of 10 deaths each year, according to the group. "We have a 'sick care' system, not a health care system, in this country," said former U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D., MPH, who chairs the coalition. "Despite any differences we may have on other issues, we all agree on a single, undeniable fact: 130 million people suffer from chronic diseases in our nation, and costs are skyrocketing because of preventable and poorly managed chronic diseases." PFCD's advisory board includes many familiar names, including former members of Congress and the current leaders of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. Visit www.fightchronicdisease.com for information.

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