A novel concept: Arizona's Medicaid plan

By Denis Storey


The good state of Arizona and I don’t always agree.

I’m a fan of daylight savings time. I’m also a big supporter of honoring Dr. King’s birthday. I’m also pretty sure that if you’re born in the United States that makes you a citizen of this great country.

(I’m also pretty sure their governor’s a couple chips shy of a bowl, but look who she ran against…)

But I can get on board with this new plan coming out of the Copper State. The state’s beleaguered Medicaid program is floating a plan to tax the state’s patients $50 a year if they’re smokers, overweight or have diabetes. The premise, of course, is forcing the residents to take responsibility for their own well being. A novel concept, I know.

And while I’m pretty sure they’re going to run in to some legal issues with the diabetes aspect, I’m not opposed to punishing (or taxing) negative behavior while rewarding (or simply encouraging) positive behavior.

If I get a DUI or wreck my Jeep because I’m texting while driving, my auto insurance will go up. And rightfully so. If I manage to drive responsibly for a couple of years, those same rates will drop.

Why is it still too much to ask for people to take responsibility for their own health? Especially when those who do make an effort end up paying for those who don’t?