Al Quinlan and Drew Lieberman
Trust for America's Health
Trust for America's Health Memo (PDF - 7 K)
Major diseases and health problems are slowing down the American workforce and crippling the economy. Preventable diseases are driving health care costs through the roof, making health insurance unaffordable for regular families and bankrupting American small businesses. Each year, the United States spends $2 trillion on health care, an average of more than $7,000 per person. And as the number of obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease grows, the problem continues to get worse—this number is expected to double by 2017.
In new research conducted for the Trust for America's Health, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner President Al Quinlan and Senior Associate Drew Lieberman find that investing in keeping Americans healthy—instead of simply treating them when they get sick—is one of the easiest and most important ways to reduce health care costs and get the economy back on track.
- Investment in keeping people healthy and preventing disease is viewed as an effective measure for keeping health care costs down. Sixty three percent believe that investing in helping people prevent disease and stay healthy will save money on long-term health care costs, against just 32 percent who believe that this type of investment is not worth the cost.
- Health issues have a real place in the debate. Though it is unlikely major diseases and health problems like obesity trump the economy as a high priority for Americans, these health issues are certainly very real for many people. Nearly as many people (44 percent) believe that the U.S. needs to make an immediate investment in health issues as believe that while these health issues are important, the economy is a bigger concern (47 percent).
- Prevention is seen as a top reason to increase government funding for health issues. As seen in the table below, nearly three-quarters or more of the American public believe that statements centered on prevention are convincing reasons to invest more government funding into health issues.
This analysis is based on a national research project funded by the Trust for America’s Health and conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies. The project included 8 focus groups conducted in May 2008 among various audiences in four locations, as well as a national survey of 1,026 registered voters conducted June 1 - 8, 2008. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.