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Opinion: Why improving access to healthcare does not save money

The New York Times, July 15, 2014

One of the oft-repeated arguments in favor of the Affordable Care Act is that it will reduce people’s need for more intensive care by increasing their access to preventive care. For example, people will use the emergency room less often because they will be able to see primary care physicians. Or, they will not develop as many chronic illnesses because they will be properly screened and treated early on. And they will not require significant and invasive care down the line because they will be better managed ahead of time. Moreover, it is often asserted that these developments will lead to reductions in health care spending. Unfortunately, a growing body of evidence makes the case that this may not be true.