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RWJF's Marks Challenges CBO Scoring

Posted Aug 13 2009 7:59pm
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's James Marks challenges the Congressional Budget Office's scoring rules in a column appearing in The Huffington Post. Because those rules exclude any returns on health investments that occur after 10 years, the CBO attributes no budget savings to early childhood inteventions and investments in early detection and prevention -- all of which generally show gains well beyond the 10-year window.

"Benjamin Franklin once famously remarked, 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,' Marks wrote. "Unfortunately, what this means is often, according to the CBO, an ounce of prevention isn't worth anything at all."

"...as a doctor, and more specifically, a pediatrician, I know these truths to be self-evident: a society that fails to invest in its children will not flourish, and merely scoring costs in the short term and not determining the value of health in the long term has helped us have the most expensive medical care in the world with a shorter life span than all our competitors," he said.
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