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Appropriate decisions based on cost-effectiveness evaluations of health care technologies depend upon the cost-effectiveness threshold and its rate of growth as well as some social rate of time preference for health. The concept of the cost-effectiveness threshold, social rate of time preference for consumption and social opportunity cost of capital are briefly explored before the question of how a social rate of time preference for health might be established is addressed. A more traditional approach to this problem is outlined before a social decision making approach is developed which demonstrates that social time preference for health is revealed through the budget allocations made by a socially legitimate higher authority.
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