Mitzi Baker has done alot of nice work in the area of active living in Olmsted County. Here is some information on public investments in active living. Basically this is just another reason why safe non-motorized connections in my community are vital.
The American health care system currently spends $238 billion per year in
“excess costs” – defined as the difference between the cost of care for people
with preventable chronic disease and those without – to treat people with type
2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke. More than half of those costs
are financed through Medicare and Medicaid. Left unchecked, those excess costs
would rise to $466.5 billion per year by 2030, with nearly $300 billion financed
by Medicare and Medicaid.
Slowing the rate of growth of these chronic diseases will save lives and money. For
instance, cutting the rate of chronic disease growth by even five percent would save
Medicare and Medicaid $5.5 billion per year by 2030; cutting the rate of chronic
disease growth by 25 percent would save $26.2 billion per year; and cutting the
rate of chronic disease growth by 50 percent would save $48.9 billion per year.
Investments in primary prevention programs will not only help slow the chronic
disease rate, but have also been shown to lower private insurance costs and
improve economic productivity while reducing worker absenteeism. In fact,
savings achieved through prevention programs can significantly and quickly
outweigh initial, upfront investments.