Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, a medical doctor, is a welcome voice in the health care debate. Read his column More health care nonsense, which exposes the myth of preventative care bringing down medical costs. In fact, just the opposite is true.
His commentary has this defining paragraph: This inconvenient truth comes, once again, from the Congressional Budget Office [CBO]. In an Aug. 7 letter to Rep. Nathan Deal, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf writes: “Researchers who have examined the effects of preventive care generally find that the added costs of widespread use of preventive services tend to exceed the savings from averted illness.”
A study in the journal Circulation found that for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, “if all the recommended prevention activities were applied with 100 percent success,” the prevention would cost almost 10 times as much as the savings, increasing the country’s total medical bill by 162 percent. Elmendorf additionally cites a definitive assessment in the New England Journal of Medicine that reviewed hundreds of studies on preventive care and found that more than 80 percent of preventive measures added to medical costs.