Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Economics of Poor Health

Interesting article...  Between smoking and obesity this article almost makes smoking seem to be the lesser of two evils socially because at least smokers tend to die earlier therefore costing "us" less in the long run.


That's what happens to smokers. While they do incur higher medical costs than nonsmokers in any given year, their lifetime drain on public and private dollars is less because they die sooner. "Smokers die early enough that they save Social Security, private pensions, and Medicare" trillions of dollars, said Duke's Finkelstein. "But mortality isn't that much higher among the obese."

Beta blockers for heart disease, diabetes drugs, and other treatments are keeping the obese alive longer, with the result that they incur astronomically high medical expenses in old age just like their slimmer peers.

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