This post got me thinking on the topic of expenditure for a cost benefit.
I have a personal story with the disability support pension (DSP) and it has framed my thinking on the topic.
A few years back I was laboring full time, and I ruptured my ACL playing football. I'd started a Masters and was doing that part time. I didn't have health insurance, but did as soon as I had the injury.
Anyway, the prognosis was a 4-5 year wait for surgery, and not being able to continue working in the meantime. My best option was to get on the DSP. I could have gone full time with my study and get a lower rate, but it was mid-semester and could not.
However, collecting the DSP would have meant withdrawing from study altogether and not being able to apply for desk based work.
In the end, I was lucky enough to get a job and get the recon done.
But what if I didn't have the skills to get a desk based job?
That would have cost the taxpayer some $28,000 per year.
Plus, by the time you would end up having surgery, the knee would likely be finished, and you'd need a replacement instead. So, you'd be looking potentially at a lifetime on the DSP.
As opposed to a taxpayer expense of the recon at 10-20k for the operation, plus 6-12 months of rehab and expenses.
This makes no sense. It is counterproductive, and is potentially a major drain on the taxpayer.
Should we begin to prioritise those of working age for "elective" surgeries to fix problems that prevent people from re-entering the workforce?
We need to think of some health expenditure as an actual cost benefit. Prolonging someone's life 3 months provides no cost benefit. Getting someone of working age in for orthopedic surgery, invariably will be.
It just staggers me that in my experience, I can think of 4-5 extremely simple policy things that could easily save bucket-loads of money. Yet, I'm sure there are people out there, who weren't as lucky as me and who don't want to be paid taxpayers money, and who don't need to be.