Forum Focuses on Health as Economic Driver

Sep 19, 2016

Health advocates are stressing the importance of a healthy community as a way to help spur on economic growth.  That connection was discussed at a health policy forum in Lexington Monday.

Credit Stu Johnson

Participants at the ‘Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’ forum focused on the topic ‘Health as an Economic Driver.’  Dr. Gail Christopher with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation delivered the keynote address. She says regulation, a word often avoided, can help with costs associated with health care delivery.  Christopher says our healthcare system is largely unregulated. She added medical providers get to charge anything they want for anything ,any time.  

The Kellogg Foundation vice president says costs of a less than effective overall health care system include unpaid taxes because of premature death.  “We’re talking about lost tax revenues from people who are unable to work.” Explained Christopher. She also says the “cost of poor birth outcomes and poor development leads to higher incarceration costs.”

Former Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky CEO Susan Zepeda says prosperity in the Commonwealth comes from good health, good education, and good jobs.  She says the forum included talk on more cost effective and transparent health care delivery and the role of health care facilities in anchoring a local community.​