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Fixin' Healthcare

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Lifestyle Chronicles - Good Soldier

Tommy Thompson had a good run as a public servant and by all the evidence he has performed well. As Governor of Wisconsin he got out front with an innovative approach to welfare that produced some results during the Clinton Administration. During his tenure as HHS secretary, he was a strong supporter of health promotion and preventive health care. Now, he is chair of the Center for Health Solutions at Deloitte Touche (you can't blame the guy for trying to make a little money before his star fades from view).

I am proud of him because he continues to carry the flag for preventive health care. And, he still occupies the bully pulpit. At a recent conference for CEOs, senior executives and human resources personnel, he called for a shift to preventive care. He is pushing the topic even if all the specifics of his agenda do not fly.

Raising the prices on junk foods in the cafeteria won't work; you might as well get the junk food out of there. I'm all for it but I doubt that requiring employees to exercise will accomplish much. On the other hand, charging smokers more for health insurance is a good start. By all means, increasing the use of IT will start health care catching up with the world but let's be careful about overpromising on the rate of return. Most health professionals would join the movement to IT for the convenience and expansion of capabilities. They are not so dumb or resistent to IT as might be thought.

Keep up the good work Mr. Secretary/Governor. Just be sure they spell your name correctly and they always include "preventive health care".


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