In order to catch the disease early in one patient to save money on the further treatment of that patient, you need to test many other people, whom you will find do not have a problem. Numerous studies have shown that this generally increases health care costs overall, rather than lowering them. Of course we choose often to do the testing in order to reduce human suffering, but we do not do it in order to lower costs overall. When we are making a personal decision on whether to test or not, we are willing to assume higher costs for our testing in many cases than society as a whole would be willing to do. In a government-run health system, one way to save money is to reduce the amount of testing. If it were politically feasible, which would come to be the case at some time in history after the government has found many ways to run up the costs of health care, then less testing will be done in the government-run system and more people will suffer more from problems which would have been discovered earlier in a private health care system.
As with so many things, Obama is wrongheaded. He is wrong to imply that
- A government-run health care system will provide more preventive health care.
- This preventive health care will reduce costs.
Damn, other than pointing out that the U.S. Post Office has bad problems, almost everything Obama says turns out to the opposite of the truth. He is like a compass that always points to the South Pole.