Thanks for the informative article "America's Best Health Plans" [November 5].
As a healthcare professional, I know all too well the consequences of poor health practices. No one can deny our skyrocketing healthcare costs, and I applaud the strategies to help curtail these costs, though some are in need of fine-tuning. Helping individuals become and remain healthy is an admirable goal. However, I've worked in more than one New England hospital, and none have offered incentives for healthy lifestyle practices. I find this amazing since providers of healthcare should set the trend for their patients. We must take care of ourselves before we can take care of others. I believe offering incentives for a healthy lifestyle will be the standard in the near future.
Within the constraints of ignorance and stratospheric prices, responsible mental-health care is impossible for almost anyone ["Paying a High Price for Mental Health"]. The customary prescription of pills is cost effective while creating the illusion that treatment is being provided. At best, personal problems are quelled rather than cured.
John R. Thurston, Ph.D.
Eau Claire, Wis.