Friday, October 2, 2009

Health reform

The new director of the CDC, Tom Friedan, spoke to us about the CDC's priorities and challenges and gave us some insight into health reform. He said we are closer than ever to changing the health care system. He discussed the 3 main challenges in doing this:

1) Expanding access - to the millions of uninsured.
2) Reducing cost - we spend $2.5 trillion per year - every $1 out of $6 goes towards health care.
3) Improving the health value for the health dollar - currently if a doctor doesn't prevent illness, they make more money - the incentives are all wrong.

He then discussed some of the areas where CDC plays a role, including increasing the emphasis on prevention, creating community guides for preventive services, and helping create a "Prevention Trust" as part of health reform. The goal is to spend $10 per capita per year for prevention. Right now it's $0 per capita for prevention and $8,100 per capita per year for treatment. 

He quoted President Obama saying, "Facts and evidence must never be twisted or obscured by politics or ideology." 

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