Two Congressmen from the Midwest want to address the health issues tied to obesity among senior citizens. One of them is 3rd District Wisconsin Democrat Ron Kind, who says more needs to be done in the areas of care coordination and patient education. “Erik Paulson, he’s a member from the Minnesota delegation, and I teamed up with legislation that would make it easier to coordinate care with seniors in Medicare when it comes to obesity related illnesses and healthy lifestyles.”
Kind told affiliate WSAU chronic disease management is a very important cost in the overall health care system, as well as a person’s quality of life when they have obesity-related illnesses.
The bill Kind and Paulsen introduced is designed to help coordinate care for seniors in the Medicare program when it comes to obesity-related illnesses and healthy lifestyles. “This would help establish more care coordination system for them and make access to certain forms of treatment, alternative forms of medicine, and prescription medication more available so we can get out ahead of this cost curve, lead to healthier lifestyles, prolong the quality of life that our seniors should enjoy in their retirement and in their golden years.”
Kind says helping people live healthier lives also drives down the cost to the Medicare system, where 5 percent of the Medicare participants are responsible for 50 percent of the Medicare health costs due to chronic diseases, and most of it is tied to obesity.
Kind says his legislation is primarily education and outreach, and does not mandate diets or lifestyle choices in any way for Medicare patients.
Larry Lee, WSAU