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Thursday March 16, 2017

The High Cost of Flu

Christmas

In a way, healthcare costs are a little like the weather. Everybody talks about them, but how much do we do about them?

That can be a complicated question involving insurance premiums, deductibles and the like. But it also can be very simple: There are actions everyday people can easily take to drastically reduce not just suffering and death from diseases, but the very high costs that they can incur.

Did you know, for instance, that flu alone costs our nation more than $7 billion a year? That’s not just the cost for the sick people and insurance companies, but to all of us: people who pay insurance premiums, taxpayers and so forth.

In this op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman, Anna Dragsbaek, president and CEO of The Immunization Partnership, explores how and why flu is costing the American people so much and what we can do about it.

Let’s get something clear: Flu vaccination might be a personal decision, but the consequences of not vaccinating affect all of us.

Unvaccinated adults don’t just risk their own health and well-being — and those of the people around them. They also cost us $7.1 billion a year. And by “us,” I mean all of us. Taxpayers. Employers. Co-workers.

Why? Because not one of us lives in total and complete isolation. We’re part of an interlocking society, interdependent on each other’s choices. And nowhere is that more obvious than in matters of public health, especially communicable diseases that could easily be prevented by vaccination.

Continue reading here.

 

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