It’s so tantalizing and seems like a no-brainer: a focus on prevention will save big bucks. This is “widely misunderstood,” says one economist. While a handful of interventions do achieve a net savings (think childhood vaccinations), many others do not. This article is generating controversy as you will read in the comments section.

Since about 75 percent of healthcare spending in the United States is for largely preventable chronic illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, providing more preventive care should cut costs. If only.

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Lisa Aliferis

Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED's State of Health blog. Since 2011, she's been writing stories and editing them for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco's CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferis

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