Thursday, September 10, 2009

Where's the Beef?

Maybe I missed it, but I haven't seen much ink on taking personal responsibility for one's health. Don't get me wrong: if you want to eat a 3/4 pounder double bacon cheeseburger, I certainly don't want to take that pleasure away from you. But for those of you that do so daily, should the folks that take that same lunch hour to go to the gym be paying for your excessive health care costs?

An article in today's New York Times talks about how one reason our health care costs are so much higher than other countries is because we are fat. My neighbor, a refugee from Serajevo, said his family was shocked when they arrived in America. In movies, everyone was thin and there is no doubt that here in Eastern NC, we are a large lot.

I personally believe that in order for us to reduce health care costs, people need a combo carrot and stick approach. You get a better rate for certain behavioral activities like working out or maintaining a decent cholesterol, etc., and maybe a higher copayment if you smoke.

The fact of the matter is that we cannot afford to give everyone all of the health care they want, and hard choices have to be made. A free market system is, in my mind the way to go, but perhaps we can add some personal accountability to the equation.

No comments:

Post a Comment