True Consumerism

By February 3, 2006Health Care

Will require consumers to be both cost and quality conscious (transparency greatly needed here) as well as self-conscious. By this I don’t mean those drafty hospital gowns but rather our own health status. The dirty little secret in health care is that consumers get a free ride on the road to excess. It’s not that we want Uncle Sam to pluck the Twinkies from the vending machines (ala Sen. Harkin), but there must be financial consequences for bad health care choices (lack of activity, dietary habits, etc.). We need an order of self-discipline … hold the pine cones and “miracle cures.”

We consume today to our collective great peril. It’s not easy (I’m at work trying to build a lesser me) but we Americans run the risk of eating ourselves out of our private health care system. Employers don’t want to confront their workers on this (shades of paternalism) but there must be a shared interest in better health and responsible consumption of health care resources. There are demonstrable health cost, productivity and safety issues. Not to mention the immeasurable quality of life….