Top | Sift

Health budgets

(article, Culinate staff)

As James Surowiecki noted in a recent New Yorker column, "If they’re not controlled, Medicare and Medicaid will eventually be by far our biggest expense. Preventing that is the key to getting our fiscal house in order." Mark Bittman, in a New York Times op-ed, went further, stating that staving off preventable diseases through diet will save the country trillions of dollars:

bq. Type 2 diabetes is projected to cost us $500 billion a year come 2020, when half of all Americans will have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Need I remind you that Type 2 diabetes is virtually entirely preventable? Ten billion dollars invested now might save a couple of hundred billion annually 10 years from now. 

Both Surowiecki and Bittman call for Americans, as individuals, to sacrifice: Surowiecki asks the medical establishment to stop expecting lavish payouts from patients, insurance companies, and the feds, while Bittman asks Americans to live healthier lifestyles. Neither is going to be easy for Americans to do.