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Fixin' Healthcare

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Lifestyle Chronicles - Governor Mike Huckabee

I have just returned from the National Governors Association Meeting in Charleston. Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has been chairman of the group this year and he has established the theme of Healthy America. Considerable momentum has developed as a result of Governor Huckabee's efforts and Healthy America is a theme that will progress far beyond this year.

You just have to love Governor Huckabee. He has charisma in the form of stage presence, good humor, warm personality and dedication to healthy lifestyle. He draws people to him. There could not be a better champion for good health.

This has been a busy year for Governor Huckabee in his campaign to draw attention to his project. He definitely captured the attention of the media, in particular the media that programs for kids. In my opinion, the most impressive project is an industry alliance he facilitated with President and past Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.

There was a round table discussion at the meeting with the President of Coca-Cola North America, the Chairman CEO of Pepsico and the Chairman and CEO of General Mills. These companies are committed to developing products and programs to promote good health and their potential is impressive.

Past Wisconsin Governor and HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson spoke about his ideas for health care reform. In particular, he advocates dividing responsibility for Medicaid with acute care to the states and long-term care to the federal government. An important aspect of the proposal is increased emphasis upon health promotion and disease prevention.

This is a proposal that deserves consideration with further development of details. Long-term care is the most serious problem facing the elderly and it will continue to grow until acute health care is more effective at prevention. The states working through communities are in the best position to create effective and universal preventive health care. The success of the states will change the nature of long-term care.

President George H. W. Bush spoke of a "thousand points of light" and Governor Huckabee is making this happen for better health status in America.

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