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It's not just about the groceries

"Furthermore, 80 percent of cardio-vascular disease and diabetes is preventable, 60 percent of cancers are preventable, and more than 90 percent of obesity is preventable," Burd said.

The Safeway CEO went on to explain that "...Safeway has done nothing more than to borrow from the well-tested automobile insurance model."

I might add that the automobile insurance model doesn't countenance delaying insurance purchase until after a pre-existing condition has been created and then demanding free or low-cost coverage on compassionate grounds.

I don't have the column-inches to review the multiple problems in state or federal programs in place (or proposed) to service everyone by insuring everyone-an excellent summary requiring nearly a half-page of print is in the March 31 Wall Street Journal; its header includes two words that say it all: "...Containing costs..." Not reallocating costs to different sets of taxpayers, who can't refuse but can politically object, or to different sets of providers who can (and do) refuse to service some sets of customers, or to quit entirely, or to set up fictitious budgets and try to hide the ensuing deficits.

I note that TennCare, of the State of Tennessee, tried and pretty much failed to contain costs. ShumyCare of Vermont seems to avoid the subject altogether although it offers one medical care organization (TennCare has a dozen, for example) with some sort of gate-keeping function.

Neither approach comes close to touching the political third-rail of the Safeway Plan; it's the only one that offers the only route to real cost containment.

It isn't the Safeway Plan formula which enrages the politically correct left (who could object to incentives for healthier behaviors?). Plus it isn't the above average-healthwise constituency which the Safeway Plan services because they're all Safeway employees.

Consider, TennCare versus ShumyCare in Vermont:The latter is 96 percent white, has a Median Household Income of $52,000, and a poverty rate of 10 percent. The former is 80 percent white, has a MHI of $44,000, and a poverty rate of 16 percent.

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