Candace Dematteis

Candace Dematteis

A group based in Washington, D.C. is launching an effort in Iowa today to urge the presidential candidates to make chronic diseases the focus of their health care proposals.

Candace DeMatteis with the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease says problems such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease are accounting for roughly 86 percent of the $2.9 trillion spent on health care in U.S. every year.

“We hear a lot about health care costs and costs to consumers, but we’re not hearing a lot about what we can do to help people be healthier,” DeMatteis said. “I would love to see health as the focus in policies that aren’t just about medical care…but, really look at health as a building block to economic growth and opportunities for Americans.”

PFCD-logobelieves a shift in focus in the nation’s health care policies could dramatically improve people’s lives. “It’s a little known fact that 80-percent of premature heart disease, stroke, and type-two diabetes and 40 percent of all cancers could be prevented,” DeMatteis said. “That would make the lives of everyday Americans so much greater and so much richer and also help our economy dramatically if we were able to capitalize on those prevention opportunities.”

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease is launching similar efforts in two other key states in the presidential selection process; Nevada and New Hampshire.