Hunter’s Second Letter to Preisdent Obama

[Sports Illustrated Kids featuring Hunter Lussi (May 2009)]

Hunter M. Lussi
Maryland

November 13, 2009

President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The more people I speak with on Capitol Hill, the more I think my tax rebate idea I wrote you about in September needs to be made more simple. Your chart about the annual cost of gyms, nicotine patches, nutrition counseling and colonoscopies in MensHealth Magazine was simple. The Cash for Clunkers program was simple and successful.

I keep writing you and members of Congress about ideas of how to change the Healthcare Bill to include incentives for Americans to exercise, but I just read that the Healthcare Bill is 1,995 pages. That’s more pages than my physics, chemistry, history and geometry text books combined. On the other hand, the PDF version of the Cash of Clunkers Bill online is 8 pages. I like the 8 page model.

Here’s my new idea that I will be speaking with members of Congress about next week. It does not matter if there are 4 bills that are 8 pages or 1 bill that is 32 pages. We just need to keep it simple and not try to interfere with getting 435 members of Congress and 100 Senators to agree to the half a million words in the Healthcare Bill.

Cash for Couch Potatoes gives a gym of your choice a $402 voucher for a 1 year membership. If you show up at least 50 times [the gyms already track when you come and they will have an incentive to make it fun for you to come at least 50 times] during the first year of the program, you get another $402 voucher paid to the gym for another year. If Congress invested $4.02 billion per year in 10 million Americans exercising, America would save $4,215 in treatment costs per American per year [per the chart in the article] or $42 billion total per year; invest $4.02 billion per year in Americans and save Americans $42 billion per year in treatment costs. Congress could pay 10 million Americans to exercise for 10 years with just the savings in healthcare cost from one year. This investment in America is worth 8 pages from Congress before the holidays.

Cash for Quitters gives vouchers for nicotine patches, gum or lozenges to help smokers quit. This program does not need a watchdog or a one year time limit because all the studies say that even if you use the patch or chew the gum or suck on the lozenges while you are still smoking, you will smoke much less because your body’s craving for nicotine is being satisfied.

If Congress invested $3 billion per year in 10 million Americans who wanted to try to quit or reduce their smoking, America would save $20,833 in treatment costs per American per year [per the chart in the article] or $210 billion total per year; invest $3 billion and save $210 billion. Congress could pay 10 million Americans to try to quit smoking for 70 years with just the savings in healthcare cost from one year. This investment in America is worth 8 pages from Congress before the holidays.

Cash for Nutritional Counseling gives a nutritional counselor of your choice a $50 voucher once per month for a year; $600 per American worth of vouchers per year. If you show up once per month and get a positive report from the counselor at the end of the year, you get another 12 $50 vouchers paid to the counselor for another year. If Congress invested $6 billion per year in 10 million Americans exercising, America would save $2,414 in treatment costs per American per year [per the chart in the article] or $24 billion total per year; invest $6 billion per year in Americans and save Americans $24 billion per year in treatment costs. Congress could pay 10 million Americans to go to nutritional counseling for 2.4 years with just the savings in healthcare cost from one year. This investment in America is worth 8 pages from Congress before the holidays.

Cash for Colonoscscopies gives vouchers for colonoscopies. This program does not need a watchdog or a one year time limit because colonoscopies are performed by doctors who keep detailed records and you do not need one until you are older and you do not need one every year. If Congress invested $13 billion per year in 10 million Americans who got colonoscopies, America would save $14,451 in treatment costs per American per year [per the chart in the article] or $145 billion total per year; invest $13 billion and save $145 billion. Congress could pay 10 million Americans to get colonoscopies for 11 years with just the savings in healthcare cost from one year. This investment in America is worth 8 pages from Congress before the holidays.

Thank you again for considering these ideas and for your service to America.

Sincerely,

Hunter M. Lussi