As Congress begins to tackle healthcare reform, it's time to seriously reflect on one of President Clinton's key planks-responsibility.
The president jawbones about the need for accountability from all those involved in the healthcare equation. Sadly, the 1,344-page bill his administration has presented to Congress lacks the necessary emphasis on patient responsibility. Lawmakers must overcome that shortcoming as they sift through the various reform approaches under consideration.
It's not only providers, suppliers and insurers that must operate within a measurable, cost-effective system. Patients also should be accountable for their lifestyles.
Wellness programs and prevention techniques now are part of the therapeutic lexicon of the 1990s, being propelled into prominence by concerned employers, forward-thinking health providers and prolific press and publishing outlets.
These efforts need to represent more than just a nice little trend. They need carrot-and-stick encouragement from reform. Those who pursue reckless health habits should pay for their sins. Those who regularly exercise and adopt other healthy practices should be rewarded>