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Arizona to Fine Patients for Risky Health Habits

April 8, 2011
Federal Reserve Note

Image: Wikipedia

Arizona’s government scares me for a lot of reasons (I lived there for 2 years) but this actually sounds like a decent idea…

“Following the lead of some private health plans, which charge premiums to members who smoke or engage in other unhealthy behavior, Arizona’s Health Care Cost Containment System has proposed charging smokers $50 a year and applying a similar fee to diabetes patients who do not follow their doctor’s orders to lose weight, said Monica Coury, a spokeswoman for the state Medicaid agency.”

The argument is that people who tax the health care system should pay more, but paying a small fine might be just the incentive some of these people need to make a healthy change in their lives.

Could also be a terribly slippery slope…

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 8, 2011 3:38 pm

    At IHRSA recently, I attended a talk where the speaker advocated fining clients (and having them donate to a hated cause) as a consequence if they didn’t follow through on stated fitness goals. Sounded weird, yet now I am hearing this idea pop up all over. On one hand, I do believe people should be responsible for their choices, and I know I’d be motivated by money. And yet….the concept seems a bit draconian. And how would it be administered – who would decide who the slackers are and who is actually trying? Doctors are meant to be healers, not “selectors.”

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