Chapter 2. More Prevention, Less Treatment

It Has To Be More about Health than Health Care

A few centuries ago, Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Despite his sage advice, the US continues to spend much, much more on the cure than on the cause. The expenditures on health care squeeze out investments in other important areas including public health, education, and social programs, all of which are more influential in producing health upstream, than treating diseases downstream.

In order to produce better health outcomes, the US needs to have more of some things and less of others, as summarized in Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1. Producing Better Health Outcomes: What the U.S. Needs More of and Less of

More Prevention, ...

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