Arnold Kling  

Benefits of Health Care

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Kevin Murphy and Robert Topel write,


From 1970 to 2000 gains in life expectancy added about $3.2 trillion per year to national wealth, with half of these gains due to progress against heart disease alone. Looking ahead, we estimate that even modest progress against major diseases would be extremely valuable. For example, a permanent 1 percent reduction in mortality from cancer has a present value to current and future generations of Americans of nearly $500 billion, while a cure (if one is feasible) would be worth about $50 trillion.

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Dennis for finding a link to the paper.


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TRACKBACKS (3 to date)
TrackBack URL: http://econlog.econlib.org/mt/mt-tb.cgi/285
The author at Catallarchy in a related article titled The Money Pit writes:
    There's been an intersting debate over at EconLog between Kling and Caplan over the general efficacy of medical care. An it goes as little something like this... [Tracked on June 20, 2005 8:09 PM]
COMMENTS (2 to date)
Dennis writes:

I guess this is the paper.

spencer writes:

Questions, here and elsewhere I see strategies to deal with the problem of an expensive medical care that would increase the costs of healthcare -- for example requiring individuals to pay health insurance with after tax dollars.

Doesn't this costs-benefit analysis imply that public subsidies for healthcare -- such as paying for it with pretax dollars-- really a positive thing and we are better off because of the subsidy.

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