Re: Health Care Cost Driver: Wednesday Depressies.
posted at 9/5/2013 12:51 PM EDT
In response to FortySixAndTwo's comment:
In response to MattyScornD's comment:
All the more reason why every man, woman, and child in the country should be insured from birth to death.
If everyone is covered, then perhaps they will understand how their behavior not only impacts their long=term health but also the premium they pay to live an unhealthy, destructive lifestyle.
If that were true then the tens of millions who have been covered should be living health lifestyles. But that is far from the case. People don't care. Especially obese people. Clearly they don't care if they can allow themselves to be obese.
Likewise, conditions which are truly genetic/hereditary in nature can be mitigated early on to prevent much larger bills - to both health and wallet - in the future.
Again, if this were true then our costs shouldn't be so high because majority of country has had health coverage.
This requires a generational shift in attitudes and education, so it will not happen over night, next year, or even in the next 5-10 years, but it must happen whether we want it to or not.
What education is needed? Don't eat more than you burn off? My god there are so many shows of t.v., not to mention the upteen magazines that deal with healthy living that it's rather hard not to know what health living is. Hell, we learn the food groups and what is health in grade school.
Ironically or not, we've been through this before with previous, equally pernicious paradigms. "Those who choose to forget the past...", et al..
In theory, I might agree with you.
However, in practice, it doesn't work because some conditions - including obesity, diabetes, etc. - tend to be concentrated in poorer communities which have less coverage and lower quality health care as a whole.
Reform has been structured to incentivize healthy behavior and penalize unhealthy behavior. This is a sea change in the way that policies are underwritten and premiums adjusted.
Education about health is one thing. (ketchup is a vegetable? HFCP is corn?) But several recent studies have shown that people don't understand how health insurance works. To borrow a phrase, they have not understood how "they have a skin in the game".
This has already started. As I've said before for example, smokers are and will be surcharged just like bad drivers are. Positive gains in health and lifestyle choices will be rewarded.
Likewise, doctors and hospitals that fail to diagnose and treat their patients properly will suffer hits to their reputations and bottom lines. All stages of the health care system will be made accountable or reap what they sow.