The health habits HHS is targeting include:
- tobacco use, which HHS says is responsible for more than 430,000 deaths each year and is the largest cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the U.S.;
- obesity, which affects more than a quarter of American adults and contributes to 300,000 deaths a year at a cost of $147 billion; and
- diabetes, the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting 24 million Americans at a cost of more than $116 billion.
"With the right incentives, we believe that people can change their behaviors and stop smoking or lose weight," Medicaid Administrator Donald Berwick said. "Not only can preventive programs help to improve individuals’ health, by keeping people healthy we can also lower the nation’s overall healthcare costs."