Everyone wants to bend the health care cost curve. Is it possible to save costs while improving health? Public health measures—like clean drinking water, vaccinations, and smoking cessation programs—have done so for over a century. New population-based health measures have never been more important, but sometimes they collide with the "economic growth" imperative.
In a recent interview with Le Devoir, Armine Yalnizyan argues that we can’t cut our way to a balanced budget. Instead, she says, we need a change in paradigm. There are other ways to reduce costs and the first thing is to invest in prevention. Making people healthier with specific public health measures—so that you are left with fewer patients in treatment—saves money and improves people's quality of life. That's the role of government.