Is preventative healthcare cost-effective?

By Tom Quiner

According to Rutgers economist, Louise Russell, “prevention usually adds to medical spending.”

She’s studied it. She wrote about it in the Journal of Health Affairs in 2009. She says that :

Four out of five preventive options “add more to medical costs than they save.”

The President doesn’t care about the cost, as he told us last year:

“insurance companies [under Obamacare] will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies, because there’s no reason we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse. That makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives.”

I applaud prevention, but someone has to pay for it. Who? The poor?  Of course not. The middle class? Obama said no in a presidential debate, that he opposes anything…

“that is primarily funded through taxing middle-class families.”

But why shouldn’t folks pay for at least a portion of their own prevention? Isn’t that kind of important to keep medical costs from spiraling even more out of control? If you’ve got a stake in paying the tab, won’t you be a little more accountable?

One of the many flaws of Obamacare is the mandate on insurance companies that they provide  45 preventative care services at zero cost to patients. Sounds good on paper. But eventually you’re going to have to pay. You’ll feel the pinch when healthcare gets rationed and waits for care get longer.

The 19th century French economist put it this way:

“Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

It won’t work, and people are going to get hurt.