There are a lot of very smart people around the country trying to figure out solutions to a health care system that simply doesn’t work as well as it should. Unfortunately, they’re not having a lot of success — or maybe the challenge is just so big that we must be patient (no pun intended).
Who pays what to which provider depends on too many outside circumstances. The lack of health insurance for millions negatively impacts the entire system. Too much time and money is spent treating symptoms, not preventing the health problems in the first place. With the federal government financing nearly 70% of the country’s spending on health care, many decisions are out of the state’s control.
What can be done is focus on wellness. In Indiana, we eat too much, smoke too much and don’t exercise enough. Yes, part of the solution is individual responsibility. But businesses can play a critical role through wellness programs, health risk assessments and more. What can also be done is increase access to insurance and the preventative care that goes along with it. Reducing emergency room trips for common procedures will help bring some sanity to the financial side of the equation.
The Healthy Indiana Plan has proven to be a good start on both fronts. Let’s build on that, doing what we can at the state (and business) level. If not, health care expenditures will overwhelm our economy and our lives.