Health Vs Health Care

718 Words 3 Pages
According to The Health Affairs, the major threat to most Americans’ health is chronic disease, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These diseases affect more than 130 million Americans, over half the population, and many are linked to unhealthy diets and low levels of activity, and they are highly preventable (Haberkorn, Jennifer). The United States spends substantially more per capita on healthcare than other developed countries, yet the United States does not have superior health system performance (US Health Care: A Reality Check on Cross Country Comparisons). One of the biggest health controversies today is whether or not prevention is a more cost effective solution and more efficient than treatment. The topics that will be discussed …show more content…
Treatment of cardiovascular disease alone accounts for nearly $1 of every 6$ spent on health care (Heart Disease and Stroke- An Overview of Our Nation 's Leading Killers). Obesity-related disease and health problems account for 61% of healthcare costs, which exceeds $147 billion every year (Tang, Katerina B.). Illnesses related to tobacco smoke costs $170 billion a year or 8.7% of all healthcare costs (Kennedy, Madeline). Prevention could immensely reduce the amount of tax dollars spent on treatment for these diseases, but is prevention more cost effective?
Individuals advocating for prevention argue that the money you invest in each person over time for proven community-based health initiatives the more money that will be returned. For instance, a 2008 analysis concluded that an investment of $10 per person annually would return more than $16 billion within five years, or $5.60 per dollar invested (Haberkorn, Jennifer). The idea is that prevention saves more money in the long
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I believe the answer to be very simple. First, we increase prevention methods, but by only screen for diseases that the patient is susceptible to. For instance, different races are genetically prone to different diseases. Latin Americans and African rooted people are more particularly vulnerable to type 2 diabetes, and hypertension plagues Afro-Caribbean decent at a higher rate than other populations (Anitei, Stefan). It is a waste of time, money, and resources to screen people for certain diseases that they do not have the gene expression or family history for. Furthermore, America needs to expand the number and types of settings (such as homes, schools, and workplaces) where prevention can occur. Most physicians lack the time, skill, or motivation to provide ongoing, sustained, and effective counseling, and most people do not spend enough time with their physician to receive effective counseling (Goetzel, Ron). Expanded services could lead to a larger percentage of participation and improve health outcomes for large population segments. I believe that, even though there is not enough evidence to really say whether prevention is better than treatment relating to cost, prevention is a more effective way to ensure the health of Americans. The goal is to help everyone live happy and long lives, which honestly only happens when they are not spending ample of time in

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