Using data from long-standing clinical trials, researchers projected the cost of caring for people with Type 2 diabetes as they progress from diagnosis to various complications and death. Enrolling federally-insured patients in a simple but aggressive program to control the disease would cost the government $1,024 per person per year -- money that largely would be recovered after 25 years through lower spending on dialysis, kidney transplants, amputations and other forms of treatment, the study found.
However, except for the youngest diabetics, the additional services would add to overall health spending, not decrease it, the study shows.
Now, there's no doubt that everyone should support preventative care. Preventative care catches diseases before they start. It's important that everyone go to a primary care physician (something I don't practice) regularly to catch diseases before they start.
Here's what's important though. Those that support a major overhaul of the medical system proclaim that up to 50 million people don't have insurance. Those people become a burden on the system when they show up at emergency rooms. Those same people claim that if they received the proper health insurance they wouldn't be a burden on the health care system because they would catch their diseases early. As such, they would save everyone money.
Of course, that's just not the truth. We should all want a healthy society. So, everyone should be encouraged to vigorously get preventative care. It is very unhealthy to go without health insurance and not get it. Focusing on preventative medicine will make our society more healthy.
All of this is true. What it won't do is lower medical costs. That's especially true if preventative care is given to someone that can't afford. If someone gets a primary care physician their whole entire lives and doesn't pay for that service, that would be a huge financial burden on the system and much larger than if they showed up to the emergency rooms when they got sick. Constantly putting someone through a battery of tests to find a disease that is likely not there is the prudent and healthy thing to do. It does NOT however save the system money, especially when that person isn't paying for the tests.
That's because the dirty little secret is that it's much cheaper to have someone die early even from a major disease than to keep them alive and healthy until they grow old. Again, I'm in favor of preventative medicine. Beyond that, I'm in favor of speaking truthfully. So, if the president wants to provide preventative medicine to all because that will keep us all healthy, that's one thing. Yet, he also needs to be honest about the enormous cost to the medical system that this would provide. Claiming that his fixation on preventative medicine is a cost cutting tool is simply not truthful.