Outdoor Recreation Idea of the Day, January 14, 2011

Health Care Reform Revisited: Opportunities for US

January 14, 2011 (Washington, DC) - The next Congress will almost certainly revisit the health care legislation passed in the 11th Congress. When the discussion begins, let's unite and champion some new ideas that could really help us control health care costs by getting and keeping people healthier.

Let's incentivize employers to provide assistance to employees to be physically active in the Great Outdoors. Let them count as medical expenses free park passes, loaner recreation equipment like bikes and skis (or arrangements with companies like REI or EMS that can provide that equipment). Give them some kind of tax inducement if they can meet metrics demonstrating health improvements year-to-year, like reductions in the proportion of the workforce which is overweight or obese. Seventy percent of our national health care costs are for lifestyle-induced chronic illnesses. Let's focus on reducing those costs and getting more people outdoors and connected with our parks, forests and other special places.

Outdoor Recreation Idea of the Day is inspired by the President's America's Great Outdoors Initiative to connect Americans to the outdoors and its IdeaJam blog. ARC’s submissions to the blog can be found if you click here. Additional ideas that have been submitted to IdeaJam can be found in our September 2010 newsletter, which is here.