June 25, 2009
Posted: 12:07 AM ET
Despite the extraordinary energy exerted in trying to delay the inevitable, the inconvenient fact is we all die.
So it is no surprise that "preventive" health care, that game-changing fix to policy trotted out relentlessly by both Democrats and Republicans, is so appealing. And like many cure-alls, it's a myth.
Surely, for some, preventive health care is worthwhile. And no one is stopping you from eating an apple. But unless policy changes have the power to stop the Grim Reaper—rather than only postpone his arrival—it will make health care more expensive.
Let's begin with the morbidly obvious. The longer people hang around the longer they utilize the health care system. End-of-life care is often the most expensive. Old folks just love doctors. (I know I plan to unleash septuagenarian fury on physicians regularly.) As studies on Medicare have proved, easy availability to services at the tail end of life translates into lots of needless services.
LKL Show Note: Elizabeth Edwards will join Larry on Thursday to discuss health care
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