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Value of Health Care Tallied in Increased Life Expectancy

A study from researchers at Harvard University and the University of Michigan published on August 31 in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that...
September 5, 2006

A study from researchers at Harvard University and the University of Michigan published on August 31 in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that significant gains have been made in the years of life lived by Americans over the last 40 years, and attributes the increased life expectancy to greater spending on health care. Government statistics indicate that spending on health care has increased more than twice the inflation rate in recent years.

The study says health-care spending may be soaring, but the increased outlays over the last 40 years are worth the price in terms of extended U.S. life expectancy.  Sandeep Vijan, one of the authors of the study, says that reasonably good value has been provided by the increases in health care spending. Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and government figures on medical spending, the researchers found that a person born in 1960 could expect to live an average of 70 years while the life expectancy of those born in 2000 was 77 years. 

"The increased spending has, on average, been worth it," the study states.

U.S. Health Care System Offers Good Value Despite Costs (Medical News Today 9/4/06)

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