Three ways to improve health care
March 19, 2010 10:54:00 AM
The health care reform debate has gripped the public''s attention. Some people like the reform, others dislike it because it either does too much or not enough. In my opinion, this reform is way too broad and sweeping to really do what people expect or want it to do. Instead of a massive bill, I have a simple, three step plan to correct health care in the United States.
- No.1: Tax incentives for people to get into shape. We all know that health care costs are too high, and we argue over the reasons for this cost. However, I think we really miss the big reason too often--AMERICANS ARE OUT OF SHAPE. Much of our health care costs are related to issues that would be greatly reduced if our obesity epidemic would disappear. We are able to give everyone incentives for energy efficiency, buying a house, or more fuel-efficient cars. Why not an incentive for becoming healthy? Estimates at a recent CDC panel said around 10 percent of all health care costs are obesity related, and the percentage will rise. A healthier America would stop this from happening.
- No. 2: Change the Farm Bill. We subsidize unhealthy food. The food we subsidize is playing a role our obesity epidemic. Many Americans cannot shell out the money to eat healthy foods, but they can afford unhealthy processed foods because the farm bill makes items like corn syrup very affordable.
If we want a healthier population, subsidize fruits and vegetables. If healthy food was the cheaper option, people would put down the Ho-Hos and Twinkies. Check out a box of Twinkies sometime. Four of the first five items are subsidized products.
- No.3: Bring competition into health care. Competition is the best way to bring about lower prices and better products. However, health care companies do not have to play by these rules. Many times, there may only be one or two providers in a state. This is very unfair to the consumer. Open up the market so that everyone can shop from any provider they so choose.
Would America be better off by bringing in a new system that changes everything, or would America be better off by living better and driving down the costs without a major overhaul? Congressman Childers, I am asking you to vote "NO" on the current bill.
Justin Sutton, Columbus