Aaron E. Carrol in The Upshot:
The idea that spending more on preventive care will reduce overall health care spending is widely believed and often promoted as a reason to support reform. It’s thought that too many people with chronic illnesses wait until they are truly ill before seeking care, often in emergency rooms, where it costs more. It should follow then that treating diseases earlier, or screening for them before they become more serious, would wind up saving money in the long run.
Unfortunately, almost none of this is true.
If the US spends more per capita in healthcare than comparable countries, we should have the best quality of life. But this requires policymakers and individuals to do what public health experts tell them to do.