Funding Preventive Care in America
December 7, 2011
Funding Preventive Care in America
Preventive care is an element that is becoming important to not only those in the healthcare field but America as a whole. Preventive care helps to not only prevent but in some cases stop from increasing illness such as obesity, hypertension, and heart disease. Many healthcare officials feel that preventative care is important to the health care field while the government does not share their sentiments and thus funds are not distributed equally to areas which assist with preventative care. Many critics feel that if the government would work with funding preventive care programs, the cost of health insurance would decrease and many Americans would be more apt to take a healthier approach to living.
Preventive health care is measures taken by an individual to prevent illness or diseases that may or may not arise in the future. The American government does not equally fund preventive health care measures as it does the war. With this being said, many health care officials believe that it is important for individuals to receive preventive care. The whole idea would be to help keep costs down yet there has not been sufficient enough studies that shows that preventive care actually keeps rising health care costs down. Preventive health care measures include services such as screening (ie cancer, cholesterol), vaccines, and other wellness benefits. Currently the government is making adjustments in order to allocate more money into the preventive health care sector and this is partially due to the Health Care Reform Act created by President Obama. However, as good as this sound, this act has been met with much criticism.
The government is still quite hesitant to allocate funds for several reasons: the estimated costs of spending is different based upon the type of preventive care that is provided, lack of evidence to show the effects of a decrease in rising health care costs due to preventive measures, and the evidence shows that the actual cost to implement preventive measures is more costly. For example, a simple medical test such as one that is given for cholesterol can detect if a person has cholesterol. The idea behind early detection would be to provide patient education in hopes that the patient would not have to get on medication and this condition could be able to control this by eating healthy and exercising. With early detection, the physician is able to assist the patient in monitoring their behavior. This action is presented two-fold: the patient is empowered to take charge of his health and the cost that was involved in the test is minimal thus keeping costs down by ensuring the patient is monitored and does not have to get on medication. One of the downfalls with funding preventive care is that neither the government or the physician knows if the illness(es) that is being prevented will be costly or not. It has been noted that prevented care is beneficial when a certain group of people suffer from a particular problem, yet it is difficult to target such a group because medical care cannot be predicted and often times many of the patients are asymptomatic.
Preventive health care measures can be costly especially when physicians tend to test for everything and this added cost exceeds the savings which is what they are trying to do. Therefore, this is a catch 22 situation. Preventive care is meant to save money while the government does not see it in that way. Therefore, they restrict the amount of money that is allocated for preventive care. Interestingly enough, the idea that preventive care is beneficial; however, when you look at costs in the long run, preventive care may not be that beneficial.
An interesting point to notate is that regardless of how the government is not allocating funds equally into the preventive health...