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In our current health care system, we are under-investing in the primary and preventive care – including early treatment and screenings – that keep people well. Creating financial incentives for proven treatment strategies, including managing chronic diseases, would lead to more primary care and better coordination – and lowered costs.
In response to doubts about the efficacy of preventive care [Health care issues: Preventive measures, Sept. 28th], I think it is important to highlight its long-term benefits. A report released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group concluded that in Washington alone, potential savings from health care over ten years are estimated at $70 billion. National net ten-year savings are estimated at $1.1 trillion for preventive care measures in addition to savings of $3 trillion with overall health care reform. And the savings will continue.
It would be irresponsible not to support preventive measures in assuming the cost-efficiency of waiting for patients to reach the critical point of requiring evasive (and expensive) treatment. Rather, we need to take the necessary measures to avoid serious illness. Most important, preventive measures will lead to savings in both costs and lives.
Program Associate, WashPIRG
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