Have we forgotten about the basics?

I think the systemic problem that’s arisen over the past century stems from a system-wide fascination with the minutiae. Solving the first 90% of any problem takes relatively very little effort and money. Solving the last 10% takes damn near all the resources. 

As a culture, America has become obsessed with that last 10% and forgotten about the fundamentals. Healthcare gets more and more technologically advanced every year. But the unsexy simple problems, like basic preventive medicine, persist and are relegated to the backburner as we chase that last 10%. There’s no money in the basics. Economies grow because new markets are created. If we perfect a market for simple preventive medicine our economy doesn’t grow and “science isn’t advanced." 

Shouldn’t we measure our nation’s success on perfecting as much of the basics as possible?