Monday, July 28, 2008

Tell them where to stick their carrot

People change behaviors when presented with sufficient incentive to induce change. A clear understanding of this truth generally creates public policy that works.

And then there is the other kind.

Governing Magazine sent a staffer to a health policy seminar and she concluded from the whole thing that the best plan is to spend more Medicaid money to educate people about healthy lifestyles:

"A primo move for a state that wants to improve the access of its citizens to health care is to make sure they get an education when they’re young. While awaiting the day when all high schoolers graduate and are literate, Medicaid officials should look into shifting spending into educating beneficiaries about health and health services. That way they can make use of all those services Medicaid promises to provide but beneficiaries tend not to understand or use."

You can rest assured that the writer of the above paragraph didn't mean "spend the same or less" when she said "shift spending into educating beneficiaries."

I'm more than a little skeptical of a plan to produce healthy lifestyles videos for Medicaid recipients and hope they suddenly make better health choices while we continue to subsidize methamphetamine and crack cocaine habits.

1 comment:

Lady Cincinnatus said...

"I'm more than a little skeptical of a plan to produce healthy lifestyles videos for Medicaid" or we could just take a lesson from Lane County, Oregon and send all recipients how-to videos on doctor assisted suicide. Just think how much tax money that would save for Medicaid administrators in the state! /end sarcasm