Newsroom

Stiffed: Americans pay the most in the world for health care but we get a rotten deal

July 19, 2008
by Editorial
Houston Chronicle

But perhaps the most galling waste is the money Americans don't spend on preventive care. A third report, by a nonprofit consortium called the Trust For America's Future, outlines how much even small sums of health care investment can do if they're well-targeted. For $10 a person, the group found, the United States could save an astounding $16 billion annually after five years. The investments? Not a recently discovered antibiotic or miracle drug. The money should go to community-based investments such as wider sidewalks to encourage walking; more urban parks; higher taxes on cigarettes and better access to wholesome foods. According the group's calculations, careful investment in these simple health-building projects could, after five years, save Medicare $5 billion, Medicaid almost $2 billion and individuals more than $9 billion.

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