My dream last night featured Vice President Joe Biden. In the dream, I met him in
an office setting, and we had an extended discussion about how to inject some accountability into individual health care.
Healthcare isn’t really about insurance companies, it’s not about prescription drugs, those are just financing options and bottles of little pills. Healthcare is such a touchstone issue because it’s personal. Healthcare is about your own body.
The lively discussion revolved about how to switch the current healthcare model into
a system when individuals get REWARDED for improvements to their individual health. There are currently a lot of DiS-incentives available, for example, having to take an insulin injection if you have diabetes; or having a heart attack and wasting a week in the hospital.
But for the total healthcare situation in the United States to improve, we need to provide not only the stick (the punishment for bad health), but also the carrot (the reward for improving your health).
In my dream, Joe Biden agreed with me and one of the ideas we came up with was that a reverse sliding scale for health insurance, where your premium goes down with each healthcare milestore you reach.
For example, lose 25 pounds and your premium is reduced by $50 per month. Get off high blood pressure meds and your premium is reduced by $100 per month. Reverse your diabetes, whether you do it with diet, or exercise, or a lap band, and your premium drops by $400.00 per year.
Many people don’t take responsibility for their own health, because they honestly think that good health is a matter of luck, and that no matter how they live and what they eat, and whether they exercise, if they get sick, they’ll go to the hospital, get some pills and then they will be all right again.
They basically abdicate their personal health to someone they may only see once a year. This may be because they think they do not know enough to make decisions for themselves, or because they do not believe there are healthy alternatives.
But I’m just glad Joe Biden and I had the chance to have the discussion!