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Letter: Ulman's sugary drinks campaign could cut health care costs of Howard County

Health InsuranceElectionsPublic OfficialsU.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

I disagree with your editorial, "County campaign against sugary drinks goes too far," and I think that elected officials need to look at my classmate Thomas R. Frieden's, MD MPH (director, Centers for Disease Control), phenomenal public health work in New York City and how that led this nation to the right path to cut health care costs in the United States. Elected officials, especially, should be well aware of the hidden but substantial burden posed by chronic illness to the government, health insurers and employers.

A little review should make it quite clear that County Executive Ulman is ultimately paying for the medical conditions of county employees and as such, this is a burden that all Howard County citizens bear. Policies which cut health care costs bode well in all times, especially during an economic crisis.

Governments should enact policies that ensure judicious allocation of scarce monies, with a strong emphasis on prevention. This will reduce the fundamental risk factors for chronic disease — the treatment costs of which are soaring. As a business owner, I well realize that these costs are multiplicative when one considers the productivity costs associated with chronic illness. Executive Ulman should be lauded.

Devesh D. Kanjarpane, MD

Clarksville

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