I wish I could feel otherwise, but I have a growing sense of unease that what the Congress is concoting on health care will not begin to make the systemic changes that are needed so that we can become a healthier population that spends a reasonable (not astronomical) amount of money on health care and that gets what we pay for.
One example: I have heard nothing about putting some responsibility on PATIENTS and CONSUMERS to take care of their health. Everyone else in the system (doctors, hospitals, insurers, medical equipment suppliers) is under the gun. But why doesn’t anyone say what is so obvious: each person needs to assume responsibility for trying to stay healthy.
I use the example of car insurance. If medical insurance becomes mandatory, will the insurance companies offer INCENTIVES for people to stay healthy (just as auto insurers lower the premiums of good drivers)?
I’ve never heard this idea mentioned. Wellness programs in companies are not enough because the savings accrue to the employer paying the premiums. I’m talking about direct in-your-wallet savings for individuals who choose to 1) maintain a healthy body weight 2) not smoke 3) exercise.
In all the news reporting, diabetes is always cited as one of the heavy drains on our system. Am I the only one who thinks that if people had a financial incentive to respect their bodies and try to stay more healthy, they might actually do it?
I am feeling discouraged. I don’t think what the Congress will produce is what the country needs to fix this monumental problem. I hope President Obama can do it. I am a huge supporter. But I’d like to hear some politicians put responsibility on people for their own actions and decisions. It’s not rocket science: eat right, exercise, don’t smoke.