CBO Paper: How CBO Analyzes Approaches to Improve Health Through Disease Prevention   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Summary: "This report describes how the Congressional Budget Office estimates the effects on the federal budget of proposals to expand the use of preventive medical services. CBO [Congressional Budget Office] analyzes policies on a case-by-case basis: The cost estimate for any legislative proposal depends on the details of the legislation. In addition, some preventive services--such as a vaccine for the 2020 coronavirus-- could have broad economic benefits that, by longstanding convention, would not be captured in a typical CBO cost estimate. A systematic review of the evidence suggests that expanded use of many preventive medical services has led to higher health care costs. Expanded government support for preventive care can improve people's health, and for that reason it might be considered worthwhile even if it increased federal budget deficits in many cases. The effects on the federal budget and on people's health are just two of many possible factors that policymakers may weigh in considering proposals to expand the use of preventive medical services. Those other considerations may include differing views about the role of the federal government, the effects on people in different circumstances, and the effects on the budgets of state and local governments. This report focuses on one of those many considerations: the projected effects of preventive medical services on the federal budget. The report also considers other factors-- individual behaviors, the environment, and socioeconomic factors--that can affect people's health and the federal budget."

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