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LSAT Practice — Logical Reasoning

Question 2

Recent dental research shows that bacteria around the gum line produces a substance that in sufficient amounts can induce preterm labor in pregnant women and can cause heart disease by clogging arteries. Both medical outcomes add to payouts by health insurers to medical-service providers. The bacteria is best removed by a dentist or trained hygienist during a routine cleaning. One health insurer has calculated that it can reduce its payouts by reimbursing subscribers who are either pregnant or at high risk of developing heart disease for the cost of one professional dental cleaning per year.

Which of the following, if true, most stongly supports the assertion that the insurer's payouts to medical-service providers will decrease if it implements the reimbursement plan described above?

  1. Dental-hygiene regimens such as brushing or flossing can slow the accumulation of the bacteria-produced substance.
  2. Individuals are generally less likely to postpone or forego inexpensive or free dental procedures than expensive ones.
  3. Pregnant women typically crave sugary foods, which are proven to contribute to tooth decay.
  4. The risk of developing heart disease is greater for individuals with a family history of heart disease than for those with no such history.
  5. The dental health of pregnant women and heart-disease patients, as a group, is similar to that of the general population.

Explanatory Answer

The clear intent of the reimbursement policy is to prompt pregnant women and people at risk of heart disease to schedule more-frequent professional dental cleanings — a procedure that may help prevent preterm labor or heart disease. But the policy will carry its intended result only if those subcribers act accordingly. Of the five choices, (B) provides the clearest evidence that they will do so. The correct response is (B).

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