Health care incentives could
improve fitness, limit obesity
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 3:21 AM
Each of us must take responsibility for our health. We must become more active as a nation and more selective about what we eat. The average American is overweight and a large percentage of our nation is obese.
Healthier citizens lead to lowering health care costs in America. Diabetes and heart disease are two of our leading causes of death. Walking every day and cutting the size of our food portions will help us to fight diabetes and heart disease. Activity plays a role in reducing some forms of cancer.
A healthier America will be a more productive America. When you are obese you do not feel energized. When you are not energized you are not prone to be and do your best at your job. People who become unemployed and let them selves go physically normally do not feel energized to look for a job.
An emphasis on being healthy with every community having access to safe walking, biking paths and trails would be a plus for our country.
Health care insurance premiums should be reduced for every American who is trying to live a healthier lifestyle. American's who keep their body mass index at 27 percent or below, exercise, abstain from smoking and drink only moderately should pay less in premiums. This will require a visit to the doctor once a year to certify the BMI but it will be worth it. If you are working to try to live a healthy lifestyle, you shouldn't have to pay for the health care insurance of your neighbor who eats and smokes like there is no tomorrow These people are the ones who should have the higher premiums.
If I drive a 100 mph when I am in the car then I am the one who should pay the higher car insurance not my neighbor who drives 55 mph.
Insurance companies should reward individuals for their successful efforts. For example, if someone's BMI is reduced from 35 percent to 27 percent, and they have lowered their cholesterol, sugar and received a good report from their doctor then the insured should be rewarded with a reduced rate or at least no increase in cost. Currently insurance is going up every year in America. It doesn't matter how healthy you are or how hard you try, the health care insurance companies have been sticking it to us. There must be some reward of at least not raising the rates of Americans who practice healthy lifestyles.
Poorer Americans struggle with unhealthy lifestyles. They eat more pizza and fast food because it's cheaper. It's also unhealthy. Our country would save billions if we could have a healthier America.
We must develop a healthy American tax relief act. Eliminate the payroll employee taxes for each American whose income falls into the poverty level. This tax would be eliminated based on a report from the county health clinic. The report would include blood work results like sugar level, cholesterol, HIV and other vital health information. The body mass index would be calculated and should be at least 27 percent or a number to be determined healthy for men and women. This report signed by a local health official is affixed to the income tax report filed each year to the IRS for the tax savings for the entire next year.
This gives the poorer class in our country a tremendous financial incentive to get off the computer, become more active and lay off the soda and chips.
Financially it will save our country billions. The effect of younger, poorer and even older Americans trying to become healthier will save our country billions in medical costs.
Finally, it's optional. No one has to try to be healthy if they do not want to. This is America. For those who will make an effort there will be a significant reward.
Glenn Mollette is the author of "American Issues" and "Fitness is a Mind Game" plus hundreds of articles, stories and other books.