If health care is a “right, than personal responsibility is a must

KEY TAKEAWAY: As the debate around a single payer health care initiative continues to rage on more and more people are saying that health care is a “right”. But where does the personal responsibility of taking care of ourselves fall within this “right”?

Unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, poor eating habits, and lack of exercise are costing the United States billions of dollars in the treatment of preventable diseases. The United States spends more per capita than any other nation on health care, including $1.5 trillion in medical costs associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer — diseases that have a direct link to smoking and obesity, the nation’s two largest national risk factors.

Obesity is growing faster than any previous public health issue in the United States . Today, 31 percent of Americans are considered obese and if current trends continue, more than 100 million U.S. adults — or 43 percent of the population — will be considered obese by 2018. Over the same period, obesity could add $344 billion to the nation’s annual health care costs and account for more than 21 percent of health care spending.

The United States spends signi cantly more on health care than any other nation. In 2006, our health care expenditure was over $7,000 per person, more than twice the average of 29 other developed countries. We also have one of the fastest growth rates in health spending, tripling our expenditures since 1990. Yet the average life expectancy in the United States is far below many other nations that spend less on health care each year.

As a nation, more than 75% of our health care spending is on people with chronic conditions

Hospitalizations are also expensive — in 2006, they made up about $1 for every $10 spent nationwide on hospital-based care.

In the United States, chronic diseases and conditions and the health risk behaviors that cause them account for most health care costs.

Addressing the problem..

1ne: Employers need to work with insurers and health organizations to develop ways for employees to adopt healthy lifestyles.

2wo: A bigger emphasis on prevention needs to be integrated at every point of contact along the health care transaction model.

3hree: Financial incentives should be tested to determine the outcome of changing unhealthy lifestyles such as higher premiums associated with weight and lack of exercise.

4our: Insurers should mandate that overweight customers meet with a licensed dietician to learn about eating healthy.

5ive: Employers need to allow employees time off to visit health clubs or build on campus gyms so employees can take the time they need to “get in shape”.

Even with my busy schedule, I fond the time to ride my bike 100 miles a week. I do it because I feel better after I ride, to help control stress and weight and because I love cycling. Can we ignite these healthy passions in people that will cause our health system a lot of money?

Originally published at worldofdtcmarketing.com on September 1, 2017.

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