Pay a Fee to Be Unhealthy?

It’s not that they want to kick the bucket early, but Americans now care more about extending their “healthy years” than about mere longevity. In an Aspen Institute/Zogby Interactive poll, 91 percent said they agree with that priority, including 47 percent agreeing “strongly.” In the same poll, 80 percent said they favor financial incentives (such as lower insurance premiums or co-payments) “to help people adopt a healthier lifestyle.” A smaller majority (58 percent) said they “believe Americans with unhealthy lifestyles should pay more for healthcare.”

Elsewhere in the poll, 93 percent of respondents agreed with the (verbose) statement, “I am in charge of my health. By making healthy choices, by reading the labels on my medicines and by asking my doctors about the treatments they prescribe, I determine my health and well-being more than anybody else.” Fifty-two percent agreed strongly.