Health Problems Cost U.S. Billions

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<p>Health problems among working-age Americans and their families carry an estimated price tag of $260 billion in lost productivity each year, a new Commonwealth Fund report shows.<br><br>
The study, <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=18373&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D294176%26%23doc294176">Health and Productivity Among U.S. Workers,</a> by Fund staff Karen Davis, Ph.D., Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., Michelle M. Doty, Ph.D, Alice Ho, and Alyssa Holmgren, was based on the 2003 Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey. It revealed the following:<br><br><UL>

<LI>Eighteen million adults ages 19 to 64 were not working and had a disability or chronic disease, or were not working because of health reasons.</LI><LI>Nearly two-thirds (64%) of workers reported missing days because of their own illness or that of a family member, for a total of 407 million days of lost time at work.</LI><LI>Half of workers reported a time when they were unable to concentrate at work because of their own illness or that of a family member, accounting for 478 million days.</LI></UL><br><br>

The authors conclude that providing workers with the means to maintain their health and the health of family members, including affordable and comprehensive health insurance coverage and paid sick leave, could yield economic pay-offs for working families and the economy as whole.</p>