Free mammograms and diabetes tests and checkups for all, promise Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, writing in USA Today. Prevention, they assure us, will not just make us healthier, it also "will save money."THIS FALLACY - CONFUSING THE INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY - IS A TYPE OF FALLACY WHICH IS VERY COMMON - ONE AT THE VERY ROOT OF LEFTISM:
Obama followed suit in his Tuesday New Hampshire town hall, touting prevention as amazingly dual-purpose: "It saves lives. It also saves money."
Reform proponents repeat this like a mantra.
Because it seems so intuitive, it has become conventional wisdom.
But like most conventional wisdom, it is wrong.
Overall, preventive care increases medical costs.
This inconvenient truth comes, once again, from the CBO.
In an Aug. 7 letter to Rep. Nathan Deal, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf writes:
"Researchers who have examined the effects of preventive care generally find that the added costs of widespread use of preventive services tend to exceed the savings from averted illness."
How can that be? If you prevent somebody from getting a heart attack, aren't you necessarily saving money?
The fallacy here is confusing the individual with society.
For the individual, catching something early generally reduces later spending for that condition.
But, explains Elmendorf, we don't know in advance which patients are going to develop costly illnesses.
To avert one case, "it is usually necessary to provide preventive care to many patients, most of whom would not have suffered that illness anyway." And this costs society money that would not have been spent otherwise.
- INDIVIDUALS ARE REAL (THEY GET SICK, WORK, ETC).
- " PUBLIC HEALTH" IS NOT REAL; IT IS A HEURISTIC CONSTRUCT.
- LEFTISTS COMMIT WHAT ALFRED WHITEHEAD CALLED THE FALLACY OF THE MISPLACED CONCRETENESS WHEN THEY ASCRIBE TO HEURISTIC DEVICES (WITH MERELY AN EPISTEMOLOGICAL UTILITY) AN ONTOLOGICAL EXISTENCE.
- A SIMPLE WAY TO LOOK AT THIS FALLACY IS TO SEE IT AS "THE IS/AS CONFLATION" - WHEN A PERSON MISTAKES A METAPHORICAL OR FIGURATIVE ASPECT OF AN OBJECT (IT'S AS IF HE WAS AN OGRE") FOR THE OBJECT ITSELF, (HE IS LITERALLY AN OGRE).
- IT IS ALSO KNOWN AS REIFICATION:
Reification (also known as hypostatisation, concretism, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real event, or physical entity. In other words, it is the error of treating as a "real thing" something which is not a real thing, but merely an idea. For example: if the phrase "holds another's affection", is taken literally, affection would be reified. Note that reification is generally accepted in literature and other forms of discourse where reified abstractions are understood to be intended metaphorically, but the use of reification in logical arguments is usually regarded as a mistake (fallacy). For example, "Justice is blind; the blind cannot read printed laws; therefore, to print laws cannot serve justice." In rhetoric, it may be sometimes difficult to determine if reification was used correctly or incorrectly.