Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Preventative Medicine Does Not Save Money

People promoting universal health insurance want to believe that it would partially pay for itself, by getting people preventative care that would save on treatment. Alas, this in not true; every serious study ever done shows that the better people's health insurance, the more they spend on health care.

The latest bad news comes, via Wonkblog, from economist Joshua Cohen of Tufts,
who crunched the numbers on the cost-effectiveness of 279 interventions that range from colonoscopies to smoking cessation programs.Only 20 percent of those regularly used preventive measures are “cost saving,” reducing costs while improving the quality of health, the research found. The rest tend to buy improved health care but do so at a cost. . . .

The evidence of hundreds of studies over the past four decades has consistently shown that most preventive interventions add more to medical spending than they save.
There is just isn't any free lunch to be had here.

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