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Tax Credits for Fitness

2009-08-21 17:57:58.176647+00 by Dan Lyke 10 comments

In an effort to stimulate discussion on heath care reform, Larry's asking why we don't offer a tax credit to those who meet the President's Council on Physical Fitness's President's Challenge.

Seems to me like it should be something that happens at an insurer level rather than a federal tax level. But then there's a whole bunch of stuff happening at the insurer level that shouldn't be, or at least should be more transparent as they screw us over, so it's also easy to toss a "but they started it!" back at the insurers to justify federal involvement.

[ related topics: Politics Weblogs Health Community Gambling ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-08-21 18:42:58.531438+00 by: ziffle

Larry, maybe actually according to modern economic theory they should give the credit to those who do not meet the standards. Reward the incompetent, punish the competent. :)

#Comment Re: made: 2009-08-22 01:38:57.854995+00 by: Diane Reese

The company I work for offers several such rebates annually, including one for participation in a fitness program, one for assessing one's health risk and addressing any areas of concern. I have to assume it's better for the bottom line to have healthier employees.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-08-22 04:41:19.881517+00 by: TheSHAD0W

How about we stop crippling the economy while unsuccessfully trying to engineer people's behavior?

#Comment Re: made: 2009-08-22 09:58:16.614329+00 by: meuon

TheShadow for El Presidente!

The insurance company should just provide lower rates to healthier people. Less risk, less cost. Business as business not as part of some bad pseudo-socialist behavioral tweaking.

[sarcasm] Except for those REALLY healthy people, they get hurt a lot. All that running, cycling, kayaking, climbiing, hiking... [/sarcasm]

#Comment Re: made: 2009-08-22 18:41:53.331135+00 by: Larry Burton

Granted, it would be better if the encouraging to fitness was by the employer or the insurance company but it seems the government is hellbent on placing themselves more in the mix than they currently are. Rather than have a government entity competing for business with currently operating private concerns or inserting themselves more into the day to day operations of private concerns I thought using tax credits to encourage fitness might be a more palatable task for government to undertake.

(Dang, I said that all in one sentence.)

This morning I was presented with an idea in a discussion group I belong to that I have discussed with some of you back before Dan left Chattanooga. That's the idea of a health subscription with a doctor. The idea is that you would pay a doctor so much a month and he would provide you with unlimited $10 office visits. Some states, however, believe that type of service is an unlicensed insurance policy and try to forbid it. In other places it seems to be a very attractive business model that seems to keep costs under control.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-08-22 21:54:45.195068+00 by: meuon

Seems like "prepaid" health services, not insurance. Or maybe it would be a doctor taking payments?

Note: My last doctors visit, with lab work, was $100 cash. (No insurance).

Heck, if it makes both people happy, why not let the pay 10/20/?? per month?

#Comment Re: made: 2009-08-23 03:12:02.427065+00 by: ebradway

Instead of Community Supported Agriculture, it's Community Supported Health Care

#Comment Re: made: 2009-08-23 14:15:22.809635+00 by: meuon

But there is not a rich lobby organization in Washington complaining about community supported agriculture. They are actually smarter, and attack it indirectly, making it impossible for the small farmer to meet "health and safety standards".

--Meuon, travelling the world in search of the reset button.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-08-23 17:01:28.359658+00 by: TheSHAD0W


This is getting John Mackey and Whole Foods a lot of flack, but it's spot-on IMO.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-08-24 16:38:58.058919+00 by: mkelley

Don't think that insurance co's aren't giving wellness credits. The employer could possibly be getting discounts based on employees signing up for walking programs, completing health risk assessments, etc. It's the route many plans are going, moving from a payer to a solution company.