As national debate swirls about whether health plans should cover pre-existing conditions, we need to ask how we can reduce the demand for health care in the first place. Every administration since President Carter has recognized the undeniably high and continuing costs of dealing with lead in drinking water and the residues of the tobacco epidemic make clear the value of preventing or curbing toxic exposures.
For those dangers, only after irrefutable evidence that people had become sick and died were steps taken to reduce dangerous conditions. But when it comes to curtailing other avoidable environmental health threats, U.S. authorities seem to be taking a show me the bodies approach.
Newsletter Issue: 10 Volume: 1o