So I’m reading Your Money or Your Life by David Cutler, who’s teaching the course “The Business & Politics of Health”, and this sentence stood out: “What we do not prevent, we wind up treating later, frequently at a higher cost.” It got me wondering at a seemingly obvious question: what if instead of elevating costs (and risks) of procedures like bypass surgery, why not proactively prevent the problem- say provide people access to ingredients for a homemade sandwich instead of a cholesterol-filled burger?
Of course, that’s a simplification of the problem- there’s plenty of complicating factors that go into the benefits of preventive over curative medicine. For instance, a dollar in most urban areas can buy a full-sized meal (in terms of number of calories consumed) at the local burger joint, while that same dollar can maybe buy one apple- that is, if a single piece of fresh fruit could be found in the first place.
True, bypass surgery exists today (and we ARE extremely lucky that it does), but could we ever get to a point where it’s no longer needed?
At the moment, at least anyone can agree, one way that can help us get there is education- and that’s where HAP can help the younger generation become aware of the benefits of preventive medicine through a healthy lifestyle.
Food for thought!
Posted by Alice Li ’14