Why prevention won't cure health care
A useful principle of political analysis is to be suspicious when everyone agrees. Which is why the bipartisan paeans to "prevention" in this summer's health care debate have me scratching my head. It's the one reform on which Henry Waxman and John Boehner can join hands. Don't get me wrong: officials are right to say our system is crazily tilted toward paying docs and hospitals for curing people only after they've gotten terribly sick. But when they jump from this to the idea that America's overdue prevention agenda will be the fix for soaring national health costs (and even help pay for expanded coverage), they're blowing smoke.