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Carroll School of Management

Individual Responsibility

Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives’ Club of Boston

October 2, 2014

TAKEAWAY: Individual Responsibility

Clearly, the biggest challenge we have, I think, both as employers and as citizens in this country, is the condition of the raw material that we’re handing to the manufacturing process in America. If you actually look at the healthcare systems in this country and compare them to the results other healthcare systems get, we do a pretty good job. If you compare the costs, we don’t do such a great job.

And clearly some of it is waste, some of it is defensive medicine. But I would argue that the healthcare system itself is not necessarily fully to blame. It’s the health of our population that bears a great deal of the responsibility. And for those of us that have a podium or a platform to talk or a policymaking opportunity, whether we run health plans or whether we’re great employers, somehow we need to engage our population in taking individual responsibility for their own health. We can’t lay the responsibility on the providers in this country to solve somebody’s problem when their obesity epidemic started when they were five years old and they had diabetes by the time they were 10, and they were already in flight to a disastrous healthcare economic profile before they ever landed in the system formally.