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Are the Benefits of Medicine Worth What We Pay for It? 15th Annual Herbert Lourie Memorial Lecture on Health Policy

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Is medical care worth it? Conventional wisdom says no, but my answer is emphatically yes. The benefits that we have received from medical advance are enormously greater than the costs. I suggest that public policy far outweighs the importance of cost containment relative to coverage expansion; we could in fact spend more and get a lot more for our health care dollars. In what follows, I talk about the costs and benefits of medical advance, focusing on two areas where I have done the most work: improvements in cardiovascular disease care and care for low birth weight infants. In each case, I present evidence that the benefits justify the costs, and discuss what that implies for public policy. I note at the outside that I shall be summarizing a large volume of research that I and others have done. I have compiled my views into a book, YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE (2004, Oxford University Press), that the interested reader should consult.

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Paper provided by Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University in its series Center for Policy Research Policy Briefs with number 27.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:max:cprpbr:27

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Cited by:
  1. Eytan Sheshinski, 2006. "Longevity and Aggregate Savings," CESifo Working Paper Series 1828, CESifo Group Munich.

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