Obamacare Falls Short on Key Goal: Preventive Medicine

Obamacare is falling short on a key goal of President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform act: Boosting preventive medicine.

In fact, per-capita public health spending has dropped 9.3 percent since 2008 — including a $40.2 billion decrease in disease-prevention and related programs through 2014, according to an article published in the American Journal of Public Health.

A primary goal of the Affordable Care Act is to emphasize disease prevention over treatment and care, by mandating insurance coverage of clinical preventive services such as mammograms and cancer screenings. The law’s advocates have argued such efforts would hold down healthcare costs and boost public health in the U.S.

But the latest research suggests funding for public health programs to prevent disease has actually been declining since passage of the law. Meanwhile, overall costs for insurance and healthcare — to consumers and businesses alike — have risen 27 percent since 2010, according to a recent analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.