SALINA, Kan. - Some programs that the government has previously said would be in deficit in the near future may actually have a surplus instead, once you account for the improved health and productivity of the population if real health care reform is implemented.
As the national discussion of health care focuses on costs, a new study from North Carolina State University shows that it might be more accurate to think of health care spending as an investment that can spur economic growth. The study also shows that government projections of health care costs and financing may be unduly pessimistic.
"Health care spending should be viewed as an investment in future capital, contributing to a productive workforce, rather than merely as an expenditure," says Dr. Al Headen, associate professor of economics at NC State and a co-author of a paper appearing in the Dec. 15 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
People are living longer and are retaining their ability to be productive members of society - they are able to work, pay taxes, consume goods and go on vacation.