Health Care Roundtable: Public Option Hot Button Issue in Debate

The Healthy Life

Another component of the White House health reform plan, officials say, is to encourage Americans to live healthier lives. Health and Human Services estimates that 54 percent of all U.S. health care costs are due to three mostly preventable conditions: heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Eighty percent of heart disease, obesity and cardiovascular disease is preventable.

"Some of that is about personal responsibility but it's also making sure that there are incentives for businesses. We're working with CEOs recently who came in and said, 'We're working with our staff to make sure that we're reducing obesity rates and working on tobacco cessation,'" Barnes said.

Doctors say the government needs to create a grassroots effort simply to get Americans to walk a little bit every day.

"If I could pick one single thing for all Americans to do, it would be walking, because I know it would cut into the rates of diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Mehmet Oz. "Just 30 minutes a day is the magic number. It would be a national policy that's easy to follow and would have a dramatic impact."

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