When we compare the costs of different health care systems (private, single-payer, or any other), the defining number isn’t the cost of treating the individual person, it’s the total money spent by the country on all of its sick people.

True. But this source of funds, which is essential to getting anything passed politically.

While there is room to lower the individual cost of health care, what we could save by decreasing disease is far greater.

Depends on what we’re preventing. A generic increase in preventative medicine costs a LOT more than treatment does, mostly because people who like to overeat (and deal with those health issues) are unlikely to stop overeating just because their doctor nags them more. When you pull obesity OUT of the “preventative” equation, it depresses me to point out that suddenly “preventative medicine” doesn’t fare so well financially.

These policies encourage healthier lifestyles, lower stress, and lower environmental toxins. That sounds simple enough, but those are the main adjustable factors leading to chronic disease.

To my point: remove “healthier lifestyles” from the equation, and suddenly we’re spending a lot more than we are today.

From their perspective, paying for preventative measures will be money wasted if that customer leaves.

Or….perhaps years of gathering data on the issue has told them that preventative only pays back if they get buy in from substantially more of their insured than is reasonable to expect.

Nationalizing the health care system would allow these programs to be developed strategically in a way that isn’t possible in our current system.

The government has no power to do anything that the consumers and the business do not agree to. (I am assuming we stay a representative government where individual self-determination for both individual and business is a premium. You may be assuming we change to a far more authoritarian governmental form.)

Clean air, clean water and clean food would lower our health care costs enormously.

How much? Please provide a detailed estimate from an unbiased source. (My sense is that we’d soon hit a “law of diminishing returns” where the correlation between “net cleanliness” and “cost of cleanliness” goes asymptotic, and at that point, we’re spending a lot more money than we’re returning in decreased health expenditures.)

An investment in stress reduction stands to save society enormously in the long run, while improving lives

I agree, but I find it hard to imagine that a substantial number of Americans are suddenly going to start meditating.

The Federal Jobs Guarantee program (properly implemented) would likely help the opioid epidemic more than treatment ever could, because it addresses the core issue.

Well, this gets us into the “to what extent is it the government’s responsibility to indemnify the citizenry from Bad Life Outcomes” question. I actually think that a properly designed FJG (designed to avoid moral hazard) is in the cards at some point in the future; I am not sure that the 2020’s is the right timeframe for it.

That said, drugs will continue to be a problem, in that mind altering pharmaceuticals will always be more fun than working a job.

The Green New Deal provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to repair our environment, save money and improve quality of life across the nation.

Well, it’s not going to save any money, because people are just people. And if it’s implementation crashes the economy, nobody’s life (nor environment) is going to get improved.

Nobody has a quarrel with the ideals of the GND; the debate is over how it might infringe on personal liberty and impact the economy.

If those sort of sweeping societal changes are levied over the short term (say, 10 years) I have no doubt that there will be a substantial cost in average disposable income paid for by the middle and lower classes. The net measurements might say that our standard of living improves, because of new programs, but the sense in the citizenry will be that they’re poorer because of it.

That’s a nonstarter.

Now, if the GND people decide to be modest in their timeframes, such as “full GND implmentation by 2050” or something like that, THEN POSSIBLY this could all work.

But sweeping social change over the short term does nothing but create political unrest and blowback. Lesson of history,

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Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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