National column about Prevention Diaries affirms PI message: Preventing illness and injury is key to nation's well-being
In a column inspired by reading Larry Cohen’s new book Prevention Diaries, Creators’ Syndicate columnist Marilynn Preston issues a call for Congress and the country to invest in prevention.
Preston notes that, of all the spending we do on medical care in the U.S., only four percent goes toward prevention and health education: “Preventing illness and injury saves billions of dollars, but that’s not how our for-profit system figures things,” she writes.
At a time when prevention and public health funding is on the chopping block, it’s more important than ever to emphasize the value and promise of prevention. As Larry writes in his book, “I know firsthand that by taking earlier action we can prevent many people’s health and safety challenges, including heart attacks, injuries, and many types of cancer, and that’s especially important for the most disadvantaged.”
Prevention offers a much smarter fiscal model as well, he writes. “California’s tobacco-control program saved $134 billion in personal healthcare costs from 1989 to 2008, while spending only $2.4 billion on the program- a 5,500 percent return on investment.”
Prevention also emphasizes resilience, which is especially necessary in a time of heightened stress and political uncertainty. Many are worried about the nation’s current and future well-being. Amid this backdrop, the message of prevention is, ultimately, one of hope, notes Preston in her column. “Prevention and education: It’s so far back on the Congressional burner, it’s left in the kitchen,” she writes
. But after reading about what’s possible in Prevention Diaries
, she adds, “I’m beginning to feel better.”