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Preventive Care, and Not Budget Cuts, Key to Healthcare Savings

Larry Cohen

Improving preventive care, such as getting people to eat  healthier and exercise, will reap far greater healthcare savings than a plan from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to cut Medicare’s budget, social worker Larry Cohen said in this column in The Hill.

Cohen’s column criticized a plan from Ryan that would cap what each state can spend on Medicare. The elderly would have to figure out how to pay for healthcare through private insurance companies or through vouchers, which Cohen said would have “ever-shrinking” value.

Cohen, MSW, is founder and executive director of the Prevention Institute, an organization that promotes policies, organizational practices, and collaborative efforts that improve health and quality of life.

The National Association of Social Workers is also against Ryan’s proposal. In this excerpt Cohen explains why he has problems with Ryan’s plan and why the nation would save on healthcare if it invested more in preventive care:

“The Ryan plan doesn’t focus on any of the drivers of health costs, and it doesn’t make anyone less sick. Its magical thinking simply reduces the flow of money available for treatment and care, while failing to address the healthcare costs that will get passed along to families and businesses. This is detrimental to our nation and the deficit. If, instead, we reduce the number of people injured and ill in the first place, we won’t just save money. We will save lives.”

Social workers help Americans get better healthcare. To learn more, visit NASW’s “Help Starts Here” Health & Wellness Website by clicking here.

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