Stephen P. Petzinger, George Mason University
Full paper: www.kon.org/urc/v13/petzinger.html
Abstract As the United States embarks on massive health care reform through the continued implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), policy makers must look to the future with unrelenting support for greater access to care. Albert Einstein (1946), one of the greatest intellectuals of all time, once said, ” . . . a new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.” How does a health care system, with such deep-rooted principles of profit making and inefficiency, accomplish such lofty aspirations? Balabanova et al. (2013) argued, policy makers need to realize the complexity of the US health care system and that no simple recipe exists for success. No one can accurately predict the state of our health care system 17 years from now or what role the safety-net system will play to increase access to care. However, this author does know that if we ignore or sublimate such important questions, we will be much worse off than we are today.
Maggie Bertucci, Alex Miller, Stephen Jaggi, Steven Wilding, Brigham Young University
Full paper: http://www.kon.org/urc/v9/bertucci.html
Abstract The recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 summons a $940 billion budget focused primarily on providing health care coverage for every American. In 1965, the government had a similar goal, which led to the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid. Unfortunately, these programs ended up costing ten times what was originally estimated. Perhaps this was partially due to the rising rates of disease in recent years, particularly obesity. In order for the government to stay within its current budgetary limitations and for America to sustain long-term control over its health concerns, we feel that there should be a shift towards more preventive care instead of primarily focusing on reactive care (treating the symptoms). We set out to discover if preventive care is more cost-effective than reactive care, limiting our focus strictly to rising obesity rates and its associated costs. In this paper we summarize the current literature on the subject and discuss both the advantages and difficulties of establishing a more preventive approach toward healthcare. We conclude that prevention would extend quality years of life to more Americans at a lower cost than when primarily implementing reactive care. Our main goal in writing this article is to raise awareness of this potential. To illustrate this, we analyzed three preventive approaches: school-based programs, dietary restrictions, and increased exercise. These three examples are effective at reducing obesity and cost-efficient. Together, they serve as the general framework of preventive care upon which more advanced and specific programs can be discussed.