Americans see prevention key to health reform

by Allison Sebolt
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WASHINGTON — Seventy-one per cent of Americans favor an increased investment in disease prevention, and disease prevention is one of the most popular components of health reform, according to a public opinion survey from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In addition, the survey revealed 44% of Americans strongly favor investing more in prevention.

“Support for an increased investment in prevention is both robust and broad,” said Bill McInturff, partner and co-founder of public opinion strategies. “There is nearly a four-to-one margin of people who feel strongly that we should invest more in prevention versus those who are strongly against it. Even when people learn the price tag in context of health reform, Americans are supportive of increasing the nation’s investment in prevention and believe it will have a positive impact on improving health and lowering health costs down the road.”

The study also found investing in disease prevention receives majority support across the political spectrum and across different regions of the country. Additionally, people think prevention will save money rather than cost money by a nearly three-to-one margin, and 60% of Americans believe investing in prevention is worth it as a cost of $34 billion out of the $900 billion total proposed health reform spending proposals.

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