Information regarding the effectiveness of each approach, such as the number of lives saved or the cost per life saved, would provide one type of evidence. Other information that could be helpful includes how many additional surgeries a person might require (after having some treatment), the long-term survival rates of various types of surgeries, how many people read health education brochures, the number of people likely to view a television spot, and how long it takes for a new drug to come to market. One trade-off in funding a particular approach is that the money is not available for another equally worthwhile approach. For example, when choosing to fund education, one trade-off is that people who need immediate care do not receive funding, nor are alternative treatments or procedures funded. This means that people may die while waiting for care, or that treatment methods that could prevent or treat the disease are not developed. On the other hand, when choosing to fund research, one trade-off is that opportunities for disease prevention or health improvement (through public education) are lost.
I propose that the money be divided among all three categories, education, research and treatment. I propose the group Making a Difference gets $300,000 for treatment, although that is not as much as they wanted. The largest percentage of the money will go to education, $500,000. (Heart Smart will get $200,000 and Project Heart will get $300,000.) Again, this is not as much as the groups asked for, but I think education and the prevention of heart disease is very important and they can produce some of the brochures and create some of the TV ads that they want with that money. I am proposing to give $200,000 to The State Center for Heart Research to help develop a new drug to treat heart disease, because that will save a lot of lives. I am planning to give no funds to University Research Hospital. While I feel sorry for the people who need surgery, the money was not treating very many people. I chose to give the money to groups that would affect the greatest number of people. My hope is to make a big impact on treating heart disease. The trade-offs of my proposal are that none of the groups got all of the money they asked for, so they will have to find other money to do what they want and the individuals who need surgery may not be able to find the necessary funds.