A featured story on ABC News with Diane Sawyer aired on 4/1/2011.
Arizona Govenor Jan Brewer has proposed a new way to reduce the cost of healthcare by imposing a fee for medicaid recipiants. This population makes less than $9,000/year, but the govenor wants to fine them $50.
People who are overweight, diabetic or smoke may have to pay a fee if they fail to follow the program outlined by their doctors. The state said they pay over $2,600/year for men and over $5,000/ year for women who are overweight/obese. Similar cost are also associated with smokers. She also proposed similar fines for people who fail to vaccinate their children or get pregnant later in life because these actions can lead to costly complications.
Those against the fees say that it is not as simple as following the doctors advice; there is a lot of interplay with chronic diseases and self management for that disease. Allowing this to happen can open the door for fees on other health problems; allowing them to be targeted in the future.
The bill has to be passed by the legislature and be approved by the federal government before it can become law. If it does pass this may become the wave of the future.
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