Study says: Healthy people raise overall health care costs!! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-07-2008, 11:16 AM
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If you live healthy & long you end up with more medical issues and long term care requirements. If you're obese or smoke, you die quicker/younger and avoid some of those expenses.



http://www.philly.com/inquirer/world_us/15305257.html



"It was a small surprise," said Pieter van Baal, an economist at the Netherlands' National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, who led the study. "But it also makes sense. If you live longer, then you cost the health system more."



"This throws a bucket of cold water onto the idea that obesity is going to cost trillions of dollars," said Patrick Basham, a professor of health politics at Johns Hopkins University.



If this study holds up, it seems to deflate the argument that the expansion of preventive health care would reduce costs and pay for the universal health care of the uninsured. Instead, health care costs would increase!
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#2 Old 02-07-2008, 11:22 AM
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With any luck, I'll bilk the system until I'm 120.



Very short sighted article. Truely heathly people have fewer illnesses (than the general population), even as they get older.

Happiness is not the result of a mathematical equation comparing the good times and bad times someone has had. It is a state of mind.
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#3 Old 02-07-2008, 11:39 AM
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That study says LONGEVITY is linked to high health care costs, not healthy people themselves. And it SIMULATED health care costs rather than look at actual data. Pretty bad study, not really a study at all. It sounds like the guy who ran it came up with the conclusion on his own and then tried to pull together an argument to support it. Maybe to get media attention.
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#4 Old 02-07-2008, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Beancounter View Post

With any luck, I'll bilk the system until I'm 120.



Very short sighted article. Truely heathly people have fewer illnesses (than the general population), even as they get older.



You've read it?



http://medicine.plosjournals.org/per...l.pmed.0050029
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#5 Old 02-07-2008, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MissGarbo View Post

That study says LONGEVITY is linked to high health care costs, not healthy people themselves. And it SIMULATED health care costs rather than look at actual data.



You obviously haven't read it.



Can you say "cognitive dissonance"?
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#6 Old 02-07-2008, 12:22 PM
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The study essentially defined "heathly" as those who didn't smoke or were not obese. There are more than 2 types of diseases that shorten a persons lifespan. Skinny people can have heart disease, for example.

Happiness is not the result of a mathematical equation comparing the good times and bad times someone has had. It is a state of mind.
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#7 Old 02-07-2008, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kraut View Post


If this study holds up, it seems to deflate the argument that the expansion of preventive health care would reduce costs and pay for the universal health care of the uninsured. Instead, health care costs would increase!



Are you hoping that the findings of the study - if it holds up - will convince people to continue to deny health coverage to those who can't afford it under the current system? Or are you just surprised?
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#8 Old 02-07-2008, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by pkk View Post

Are you hoping that the findings of the study - if it holds up - will convince people to continue to deny health coverage to those who can't afford it under the current system? Or are you just surprised?



Neither, actually.



This has nothing to do with funding a safety net for the truly needy which I happen to support. But one of the planks proposed by many supporters of universal health care is that more wide spread preventive care will reduce overall health costs and be self funding to cover the currently uninsured. I have never seen anyone back up these *opinions* with a study or a statistic, but I may have missed it and would appreciate any reference to same. Lacking such backup, the plank is rotten and people need to be prepared that universal health care will raise costs and will be much more expensive than some groups would want you to believe. The grass is not always greener on the other side.



I am not surprised because my *opinion* has always been that preventive health care lets you live longer which will raise health care costs just as the study seems to demonstrate. If you drop dead of a heart attack at 45, you don't spend much money on elder care or long term illness/dementia/etc. In simple terms, health care is like food: The longer you live, the more you consume. YMMV
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#9 Old 02-07-2008, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Beancounter View Post

The study essentially defined "heathly" as those who didn't smoke or were not obese. There are more than 2 types of diseases that shorten a persons lifespan. Skinny people can have heart disease, for example.



Which doesn't change:



Quote:

Conclusions



Although effective obesity prevention leads to a decrease in costs of obesity-related diseases, this decrease is offset by cost increases due to diseases unrelated to obesity in life-years gained. Obesity prevention may be an important and cost-effective way of improving public health, but it is not a cure for increasing health expenditures.

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#10 Old 02-07-2008, 01:29 PM
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I still maintain that a truely heathly person will not put a drain on the healthcare system regardless of there age.



For example, my grandfather lived into his mid 80's. His cause of death was "old age".



But if you want to eat excessively and smoke for the benefit of mankind, go right ahead.

Happiness is not the result of a mathematical equation comparing the good times and bad times someone has had. It is a state of mind.
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#11 Old 02-07-2008, 02:21 PM
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i like to think that im not a drain on the healthcare system. i worked with an older guy who had a lot of health problems (diabetes, kidney probs, heart problems, etc). but they were problems that could have been contained had he tried to eat right and exercise a little. it made me mad as a tax payer because he was on medicare and he wasnt even trying to "do right."
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#12 Old 02-07-2008, 02:51 PM
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Well if they wanted to save some real cash -- humans could just stop reproducing and die young. A real cost saver there! Some babies die during their first year of life -- I bet those cost savers are applauding their effort.



Reports like those rank up there as a waste of money. Someone who lives 50 years longer than another has more medical costs? What next? Studies to show that people that don't drink fluids have a high mortality rate?



People don't (at least to my knowledge) lose weight or stop smoking because it gives them more money (well, in the long term, maybe short-term) -- they do it so they might have a chance to see their grandkids.
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#13 Old 02-07-2008, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by JLRodgers View Post

Well if they wanted to save some real cash -- humans could just stop reproducing and die young. A real cost saver there! Some babies die during their first year of life -- I bet those cost savers are applauding their effort.



Reports like those rank up there as a waste of money. Someone who lives 50 years longer than another has more medical costs? What next? Studies to show that people that don't drink fluids have a high mortality rate?



People don't (at least to my knowledge) lose weight or stop smoking because it gives them more money (well, in the long term, maybe short-term) -- they do it so they might have a chance to see their grandkids.



No one ever said let people die or suffer to save money. Suggesting they did would be dishonest.



The study was pointed out as a counter point to those that say that by providing additional preventive health care, it would magically *save* money over the current health system and self fund the cost of insuring the currently uninsured. This study merely suggests the costs will actually *increase* and then attempts to quantify the amount of increase for the people and conditions studied. The actuaries for future health plans need to take this type of information into consideration to avoid running out of money and not being able to provide health care to anyone. Good planning is never a waste of money.
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#14 Old 02-07-2008, 04:31 PM
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It's hard to determine since we haven't seen the actual study. Who knows what statistics they used and epi studies generally need a fine-tooth comb. I imagine the variables for such a simulation would have to be pretty darn broad.



eta: oops. I found their methods.
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#15 Old 02-07-2008, 05:15 PM
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I've made it about 1/4-1/2 through the article. The costs in table one have me confused. they have major diseases listed associated with obesity. Ok, but each of these diseases are risk factors for other diseases. I don't know if this is included in their calculations and I don't know if I'll get through the article to find out. I can't figure out the excel sheet. I'm curious about diabetes because it's a risk factor for a slew of other conditions. I think obesity in children should be included as well, which opens the door to god knows what.
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#16 Old 02-07-2008, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Beancounter View Post

I still maintain that a truely heathly person will not put a drain on the healthcare system regardless of there age.



For example, my grandfather lived into his mid 80's. His cause of death was "old age".



But if you want to eat excessively and smoke for the benefit of mankind, go right ahead.



The purpose of these studies is, as Kraut noted, to dig out the truth about health to better anticipate future needs.



Your belief is incorrect and not supported by the evidence, and anecdote is useless for policy creation at any level.



What do you say about all the marathon runners who drop dead in their 20's?



ETA: Very Interesting: "Cancer incidence, except for lung cancer, was the same in all three groups. Obese people had the most diabetes, and healthy people had the most strokes."
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#17 Old 02-07-2008, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Kraut View Post

No one ever said let people die or suffer to save money. Suggesting they did would be dishonest.

.....



The first part of my post was half-joking (since based on their own study, the less you live, the most you save).





The latter part was more serious -- I've never heard of a single person saying they'd save money (other than short-term from not buying as much) by loosing weight or even saying "you know, I need some extra cash, think I'll drop a few pounds". It's always been for health, appearance, or so they'd see their grandkids grow up. People have said they'd save money from things that obesity itself would be related to, but never heard of anyone saying it'd save money overall. Pretty much everyone knows there's certain conditions that "old people" get that "young people" don't (generally) -- which in themselves cost money.
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#18 Old 02-07-2008, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Beancounter View Post

I still maintain that a truely heathly person will not put a drain on the healthcare system regardless of there age.



For example, my grandfather lived into his mid 80's. His cause of death was "old age".



With all due respect to your grandfather, 'old age' is not a cause of death. It's just shorthand that's used for an indeterminate or undiagnosed cause, and there is an effort underway to get those certifying and documenting deaths to be a little more accurate in their reporting. People don't stop living simply because they've had one too many birthdays.
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#19 Old 02-07-2008, 06:09 PM
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I didn't read the whole article, but I read the beginning. Just because you are around normal weight and don't smoke does not mean you will be healthy. You would actually have to look at people who eat a great diet with fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and the other good stuff, and who exercise regularly. Most people are not too healthy even if their weight is good, so this seems like a waste of time to me.
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#20 Old 02-07-2008, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by JLRodgers View Post

Reports like those rank up there as a waste of money. Someone who lives 50 years longer than another has more medical costs? What next? Studies to show that people that don't drink fluids have a high mortality rate?



And how many times have you heard people advocating policy (like tobacco taxes) based on the notion that smokers cost society more, so they should be forced to pay for it?



Maybe smokers should actually get tax rebates and there should be a non-smoker tax? I mean, if your gonna be selfish and live longer (thereby increasing societies costs), it only seems fair.
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#21 Old 02-07-2008, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post

The purpose of these studies is, as Kraut noted, to dig out the truth about health to better anticipate future needs.



Your belief is incorrect and not supported by the evidence, and anecdote is useless for policy creation at any level.



The study is inherently flawed because the general population of "heathy people" from which the study formed the control group weeren't truely healthy.



What do you say about all the marathon runners who drop dead in their 20's?



Genetic defect perhaps. I know of a couple of marathoners who smoked. And as I said before, skinny people can still develope heart disease due to a poor diet.



ETA: Very Interesting: "Cancer incidence, except for lung cancer, was the same in all three groups. Obese people had the most diabetes, and healthy people had the most strokes."



If they had strokes, then they weren't really healthy.

Happiness is not the result of a mathematical equation comparing the good times and bad times someone has had. It is a state of mind.
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#22 Old 02-07-2008, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rainforests1 View Post

Most people are not too healthy even if their weight is good, so this seems like a waste of time to me.



Exactly!!

Happiness is not the result of a mathematical equation comparing the good times and bad times someone has had. It is a state of mind.
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#23 Old 02-07-2008, 06:23 PM
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Everyone dies of something. Therefore no one is ever truly healthy?
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#24 Old 02-07-2008, 06:28 PM
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People don't stop living simply because they've had one too many birthdays.



So, are you saying that if all diseases were eliminated we would live forever?

(save for accidents)

Happiness is not the result of a mathematical equation comparing the good times and bad times someone has had. It is a state of mind.
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#25 Old 02-07-2008, 06:44 PM
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I suppose if you mean avoid anything that could kill you, well, yes.
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#26 Old 02-07-2008, 07:18 PM
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since the methodology of the study, their assumptions, etc. are hardly discussed and neither are the credentials of those that conducted it, i find it amusing that some seem to be finding it so significant. it could be a piece of trash you know? i would like to find out more about it. in addition, the major argument for universal coverage reducing societal costs is not just access to preventative care (which this article does not mention at all so we don't even know if that was taken into account), it is also that the uninsured presently often use emergency care as their first health care resource. that is the most expensive kind of care. so, the 'bucket of cold water' does not translate so easily to some argument against universal care. made for a good hoax tho lol.
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#27 Old 02-07-2008, 07:20 PM
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since the methodology of the study, their assumptions, etc. are not even discussed and neither are the credentials of those that conducted it, i find it amusing that some seem to be finding it so significant. it could be a piece of trash you know?



https://veggieboards.com/boards/showp...58&postcount=4
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#28 Old 02-07-2008, 07:27 PM
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Cool Air
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#29 Old 02-07-2008, 07:27 PM
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cool, thank you. their conclusion is as follows:



Although effective obesity prevention leads to a decrease in costs of obesity-related diseases, this decrease is offset by cost increases due to diseases unrelated to obesity in life-years gained. Obesity prevention may be an important and cost-effective way of improving public health, but it is not a cure for increasing health expenditures.



so, again, Kraut's argument that somehow the 'plank is rotten' concerning universal coverage is not even the subject of this paper.
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#30 Old 02-07-2008, 07:45 PM
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So how does this:

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Originally Posted by Savannah View Post


Although effective obesity prevention leads to a decrease in costs of obesity-related diseases, this decrease is offset by cost increases due to diseases unrelated to obesity in life-years gained. Obesity prevention may be an important and cost-effective way of improving public health, but it is not a cure for increasing health expenditures.



contradict this?

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But one of the planks proposed by many supporters of universal health care is that more wide spread preventive care will reduce overall health costs and be self funding to cover the currently uninsured.

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