A strategy to create jobs and reduce the deficit by making the healthy choice the easiest choice

Am J Health Promot. 2012 Jul-Aug;26(6):iv-xi. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.26.6.iv.


The Congressional Budget Office projects that federal spending is likely to reach 34%of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2085, while tax revenues are likely to remain at 18%. If this occurs, total federal debt will exceed 200% of GDP before 2040, a level that is likely to cause our economy to implode. Medicare, Medicaid, and other medical programs are projected to consume 52%of spending, and Social Security an additional 20%. If we can reduce the rate of increase in medical spending by 1 percentage point and increase the years people are physically able to work by 10%, we can reduce the debt by 30%. Improving health to that extent will require: 1) Focusing the efforts of the federal government to improve health. 2) Providing more opportunities for the most disadvantaged people to rise out of poverty. 3) Providing comprehensive health promotion programs to every person in the nation in all the settings in which they work, live, and play. This article describes the framework of a strategy to provide comprehensive health promotion programs.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Budgets / statistics & numerical data*
  • Federal Government*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Policy / economics*
  • Health Promotion / economics*
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement / economics
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement / statistics & numerical data
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • United States