Last week, Indiana University School of Medicine professor Adam Carroll filed a piece for the New York Times with a provocative premise. Titled Preventive care saves money? Sorry, it’s too good to be true, it argued that investing in preventative care doesn’t actually yield savings. Here’s its opening and closing: Continue reading “The curious logic of Professor Adam Carroll”
Can you rationally explain why people not having health insurance is actually bad from an economic standpoint?
Additionally, people who are able to take care of their sicknesses and injuries immediately or when noticed early make it much cheaper to treat overall because many conditions become more complicated and expensive to cure as they progress. If you catch cancer in the beginning stages, not only is the prognosis better, you also don’t need to spend anywhere near the amount of resources to cure it compared with a cancer that’s only caught after it’s metastasized and its symptoms are more obvious.
Because it’s less expensive to treat, many fewer people will have to declare bankruptcy when they choose to save the lives of themselves and their loved ones. As of 2009, 62 percent of all bankruptcies were medical-related. Obamacare didn’t solve that problem or perhaps go far enough, but people who have to close their business or pay off medical debt aren’t spending money to invest in their community or grow its economy. Some people do become wealthier, like breaking windows benefits the glass repair company, but overall, society does not become wealthier.
Finally, children who suffer from preventable and treatable illnesses won’t be as productive economically as they grow older, and adults who are injured or die from something treatable are wasting the investment of education and experience already put into them. Even viewing people completely cynically and without moral compassion, you’re squandering resources by allowing economic engines to break and disregarding their entire future productive capability unless they have the wealth immediately to repair themselves.
More fundamentally and in the long term, by tying health-care access to wealth, it deepens the divide between rich and poor, lowers overall economic productivity, and weakens the social contract.