Healthcare Town Hall - Page 16 of 18

Healthcare Town Hall

So, all right, I’ve got time for one more question, and I’m going to go with this young lady right here who’s got a picture of me, I guess. (Laughter.)

Q We’re very strong supporters of you. We followed you at the campaign rally back in September. I took my five-month-old son. His name is Daniel Clay Stevens (phonetic), and he’s enrolled in the Oneida Nation of Indians of Wisconsin. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: There you go.

Q And we were fortunate that you got to hold him. You actually called him “adorable” — I don’t know if you remember.

THE PRESIDENT: I’m sure he was. (Laughter.) I do.

Q I was just wondering if you’d be able to sign this for me.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I can sign that, yes. I’ll ask — I’ll get one more question. I’ll be happy to sign it. It’s a young lady, sir. Everybody is pointing at this young lady, so she must be really important — (laughter) — or very popular.

Q Well, my name is Jean Marsch. I am the president of the Green Bay School Board, and I’m also a registered nurse and I work at Saint Vincent Hospital. (Applause.) My question centers on wellness and personal responsibility for one’s health care. Could you talk about how your reforms would incorporate wellness and encouraging people to take more responsibility for their own health care? (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think it’s a great question. For those of you who still have employer-based care, one of the things that we’ve been doing is meeting with companies who are really doing some innovative things to encourage their employees to get well. And some of it involved financial incentives. So these employers, they’ll say, you know what, we provide for your health insurance, but if you quit smoking, you will see money in your pockets in the form of lower premiums. If you lose weight, you will see an incentive, money in your pocket. Then they set up gyms or a range for club memberships for their employees. Then what they do is they set up a computerized system so you can check your progress on an ongoing basis, just by logging on through the company.

So there are a whole range of steps that a lot of employers are taking to help encourage that, and what we want to do is to work with those employers to give every company an incentive to do the right thing with their employees.

Now, for those who don’t have an employer-based system, or they’re going through Medicare or Medicaid or what have you, any time that we can reimburse for preventive care — getting a regular mammogram or a pap smear, or just having a regular checkup for colon cancer — to the extent that we are encouraging reimbursements on those items, then hopefully people will utilize them more.