Said: "To hold down medicinal spending,
One would certainly fare well
To take to the stairwell,
And spend 30 minutes ascending."
This past weekend, The New York Times asked its economics columnists to think deeply on the issues and solutions that may have an impact in 2012. Professor Richard Thaler, who teaches economics and behavioral science to business students at the University of Chicago, suggests that our national health care spending crisis can be ameliorated with a few "nudges" from employers. The thesis of “Nudge,” by Dr. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, is
that “choice architects” can often help people achieve their goals simply by making the necessary steps easier.According to Dr. Thaler, employers can nudge their employees in the right direction by, among other things, subsidizing healthy foods in the cafeteria, enticing workers to use the stairs instead of elevators, and tweaking insurance plans to make life-saving prescriptions free, thereby encouraging patients to keep up with their medications.