A recent news item states that the government will pay half of all Americans' medical costs within the next decade. I work with SSA disability decisions all day. Drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and obesity are elements of the majority of disability claims, even those that are denied. It's time to approach these three impairments the way smoking was approached. If the government spends a little money now persuading people not to abuse drugs, alcohol, or food, by showing the damage done to their internal organs, the savings down the line will be tremendous. Not only will there be fewer disability claims, but all medical costs will decrease. Ultimately, the government will save many more times in medical bills than it pays for public service commercials showing people what drugs (including marijuana), alcohol, and obesity are doing to the brain, liver, pancreas, heart, and joints. A sustained, public service campaign will save money (and lives). The campaign against cigarettes is the model for what we can do to help ourselves.
Idea No. 14223