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Broadband Access Could Slash Healthcare Costs By Over $1 Trillion: Report

Broadband deployment could reduce healthcare costs by more than a trillion dollars, according leading U.S. economist Robert Litan.

In a report prepared for the New Millennium Research Council, Litan says that broadband deployment would help provide better health care for 70 million elderly and disabled citizens. The healthcare benefits of broadband deployment will result in $927 billion savings from the current "business as usual" approach and would add an additional $532 billion to $847 billion by accelerating broadband deployment for the elderly and disabled.

Lower medical costs, lower costs of institutionalized living, and additional output generated by seniors and the disabled are all benefits of broadband deployment, according to Litan. The total savings would be comparable to the $1.8 trillion budget the U.S. spends on healthcare for all its citizens, and could eventually exceed it. The potential savings is also more than the U.S. spends on homeland security annually.

"Broadband is not a technology that simply delivers more movies, videos, sports, and other forms of instant gratification. As Robert Litan shows, it can improve the lives of the elderly who account for a large and growing share of the population," Dr. Robert W. Crandall of the Brookings Institution said in a statement.