No one really knows whether preventive medicine will save money in the long run, let alone free up the billions of dollars a year needed to help pay for universal health insurance. In fact, studies have shown that preventive care – be it cancer screening, smoking cessation or plain old checkups – usually ends up costing money. It makes people healthier, but it’s not free.
“It’s a nice thing to think, and it seems like it should be true, but I don’t know of any evidence that preventive care actually saves money,” said Jonathan Gruber, an M.I.T. economist who helped design the universal-coverage plan in Massachusetts.
Here is the article by David Leonhardt.