The Doctor Is In: Focus on prevention would help pay for health reform


One of the chief complaints about the health care bill the House of Representatives passed on Saturday is that it's too expensive, with a staggering price tag of $1.1 trillion over ten years. While the House bill admirably extends coverage to an additional 36 million Americans, it's a lot to spend on a law that doesn't adequately address the spiraling costs of health care.

Under the House plan, more Americans would have health insurance coverage, which would mean they'd have greater access to medical services and would likely seek care earlier. That would save money, as would other aspects of the House and Senate bills, such as reducing Medicare payments. But if we really want to contain costs over the long haul, we have to shift our efforts toward prevention.