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Argument: Government has a cost incentive to invest in preventive care

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Supporting quotations

Paul Krugman, Robin Wells. "The Health Care Crisis and What to Do About It". New York Times Review of Books. Volume 53, Number 5 ยท March 23, 2006 - "The VA also invests heavily and systematically in preventive care, because unlike private health care providers it can expect to realize financial benefits from measures that keep its clients out of the hospital."


Jonathan Cohn. "Creative Destruction. The best case against universal health care." The New Republic. November 12, 2007 - "Of course, the idea of involving the government in [investment and innovation] is anathema to many conservatives--since, they argue, the private sector is bound to make better decisions than a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington. But, while that's frequently true in economics, health care may be an exception. One feature of the U.S. insurance system is its relentless focus on short-term good. Private insurers have little incentive to pay for interventions that don't yield immediate benefits, because they are gaining and losing members all the time. As a result, money invested on patient health may very well help a competitor's bottom line. What's more, the for-profit insurance industry--like the pharmaceutical and device industries--responds to Wall Street, which cares more about quarterly filings than long-term financial health. So there's relatively little incentive to spend money on the kinds of innovations that yield long-term, diffuse benefits--such as the creation of a better information infrastructure that would help both doctors and consumers judge what treatments are necessary when."

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