# Practice GMAT Critical Reasoning Question

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Automation, the trademark of a modern economy, is essential to maximizing a country's economic production while minimizing its costs. Health care executives want to increase revenues while reducing costs. Consequently, they propose significantly greater automation of health care. Yet, this should be rejected. Radical automation of health care would cause patients to lose trust in the system as the health care they would receive would lack the in-person care that studies show patients desire.
Which of the following expresses the main point of the argument?
 A) Health care should not be heavily automated B) Patients desire customized in-person care C) Trends in the general economy do not apply to the health care industry D) Health care executives are becoming too greedy E) Due to economic forces, automation of health care is eventually inevitable

When a question asks about the "main point," it is asking for the conclusion (i.e., thesis) of an argument. In answering this question, it is essential to separate the conclusion from the premises that support and lead up to the conclusion.

The argument can be broken up sentence-by-sentence and dissected, enabling us to ascertain the role that each sentence plays in the overall argument.

Breakdown by Argument

There are five major points:
(1) automation maximizes profit
(2) health care executives want to maximize profit
(2b) as a result of 2, health care executives propose automation
(3) 2b should be rejected
(3b) reasoning for 2b being rejected is decline in quality of care

Every point leads to and supports point 3, which is the conclusion of the argument.

Breakdown by Sentence

"Automation, the trademark of a modern economy, is essential to maximizing a country's economic production while minimizing its costs." This is a premise since it is used later to make a point (i.e., reject automation in health care). It is simply stated as a fact and does not draw on other premises.

"Health care executives want to increase profits while reducing costs." This is a premise since it is used later to make a point. It is simply stated as a fact and does not draw on other premises.

"Consequently, they propose significantly greater automation of health care." Some students falsely assume that this is the main point. Although this statement does draw on the two aforementioned premises, it is not the conclusion because it is not the argument that the author is trying to make (as we shall see).

"Yet, this should be rejected." This is the argument that the author is making and it is the main point. To see this, notice that all the statements before (and after) build on this statement.

"Radical automation of health care would cause patients to lose trust in the system as the health care they would receive would lack the in-person care that studies show patients desire." This is a premise since it is evidence that the author is using to support the conclusion that automation should be rejected.

1. This is the main point or argument of the statement. The author indicates, "Yet, this should be rejected," where this refers to "significantly greater automation of health care."
2. The author argues against automation since it will "lack the in-person care that studies show patients desire." The argument is against automation, not for in-person care. In other words, "patients desire customized in-person care" is used as a premise to support the rejection of automation.
3. Although this is a possible inference that can be made by piecing together the premises, it is not the argument that is being advocated.
4. The statement says nothing about executives becoming too greedy. Automation "should be rejected" because it "would cause patients to lose trust in the system."
5. The statement says nothing about automation becoming inevitable. The author argues not for inevitability of automation of health care but rejection of excessive automation of health care.

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