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“The Twinkie Effect” or “How to get an additional $557 tax incentive”

I think we’re all beginning to figure out that to a large degree, We the People are going to have to fix some of this country’s problems ourselves. We’ve heard some great plans for fixing our broken healthcare system. Over the next few weeks, I’d like to offer up some ideas about what we each can do about healthcare.

With apologies to those who occasionally enjoy those cream filled cakes, I use “The Twinkie Effect” as a metaphor for all of those things we’ve eaten and done (and/or rather not done) to our bodies.  Here’s a shocking number: 75% of our healthcare spending goes to caring for coronary artery disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, asthma and depression says George Halvorson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and author of “Health Care Reform Now! A Prescription for Change”. (I recommend this book.)  He goes on to say that if just 1% of people with these conditions successfully treated, we could reduce our healthcare costs by $77,000,000,000. (With all the “billion” numbers that have been thrown at us over the last few weeks, personally, I’ve become a bit numb to the meaning. All those zero’s help put it in perspective for me.)

According to the IRS, there are 138 million taxpayers in the United States. That works out to a reduction of $557 per person. But wait. There’s more. Type 2 Diabetes is a “lifestyle” disease, meaning one that you can do something about by changing how you live. For starters, take a thirty minute walk each day.  Skip dessert just two times a week.  Northwestern Mutual has a terrific web application called the Longevity Game. Play it to see how long you can expect to live. Another favorite site of mine is www.fightchronicdisease.org. It’s operated by the Partnerships to Fight Chronic Disease, a national coalition of patient, provider and community organizations.

Comments

Comment from 20 20 Tax Myths
Time November 19, 2014 at 3:01 pm

At this moment I am going to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast coming over again to read other news.

Comment from Tax News
Time November 24, 2014 at 3:12 pm

There is certainly a great deal to know about this issue.
I really like all of the points you have made.

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