Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Simpler Way...

We get letters. Today I received an email alerting me to this post at Think Progress:
Okay, I made that last part up, but it’s of a piece with the general tone of the post. There’s little doubt that, as a society, we’re too fat, smoke and drink too much, and don’t take care of ourselves as best we can.
And this is news, how?
The fact is, we are living longer (I’ll take the actuaries’ analysis over the nannies at NIH any day; the actuaries are playing with REAL money), and new treatment protocols are being introduced every day.
Now, do I agree that we should take better care of ourselves? Of course, but I don’t think we need another gummint program to do so. Fact is, there are several easy, low-tech, low-cost ways to accomplish this, if we really want to.
That’s the crux, by the way: each person is, ultimately, responsible for his own health and well-being. So forcing folks to take their flu shots is really no different than forcing them to…well, you fill in the blank. The point is, folks that want to improve their health will do so. I blogged recently on my ambivalence regarding health insurance covering preventive care. I’m starting to lean towards that, but it’s really up to the markets to dictate how that plays out.
Seems to me that the carrier(s) which figure out how to profitably cover such expenses will be the big winners (as will their insureds, of course). If it’s what we really want, more carriers will follow (cf: HSA, transparency, etc). The last thing we really need, though, is another tax-payer funded debacle (e.g.: Medicare Part D).
See, it really is that simple.

UPDATE: Vis flu shots and other vaccines, it appears that at least some congress-critters have cast doubts on the CDC's assessment of such preventive med's. According to this article, the agency "
the agency is tainted by conflicts of interest because it is also the chief promoter for vaccinations."
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