Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The CBO and Preventative Care

The Congressional Budget Office has a way of ruining a good party. Today they came out with the depressing argument that:
the evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall.
My understanding of the history of the NHS in the UK backs this argument up. I believe that the cost of the service ended up being far higher than they anticipated due to increased demand swamping the benefits of preventative care. I could be wrong though.

That said, we need to figure out how to provide care for everyone, and it may be the spending more on preventative care is still the right thing to do. After all, if you can avoid ever getting sick, that is worth paying for, but if they are right, we will have to think more carefully about the financing of a public health plan.

No comments: