Obamacare and Public Health

George Avery, an assistant professor of public health at Purdue University, writes on the conflation of health care reform and the improvement of public health, and argues that Obamacare will actually prove detrimental to public health in general.

In fact, federal “reform” often hurts the public health system. Both public health and health care experts have criticized Medicare and Medicaid, enacted by Congress in 1965, for changing the focus of health care practitioners from prevention to treatment. Infectious disease mortality rates rose 22 percent in the 1980s (even after discounting for AIDS deaths), despite rising public and private spending on health insurance and medical care. In 1988, the Institute of Medicine warned of a deteriorating public health system. Inadequate vaccine supplies, such as the recent shortages of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine or influenza vaccines, are at least in part the result of federal attempts to control the production and distribution of the vaccines.

Read the whole thing here. Hat tip to Michael Cannon at the Cato Institute.

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