I was having a little conversation with someone at lunch today about health care costs, and after a while our talk meandered over to a very specific local site–the University of Michigan. I happen to be familiar with the fact, from being on various internal committees, that health insurance costs here are on an upward trend of 10%/year, which, although all costs are going up everywhere nationwide, is higher than it should be. The UM is self-insured. As a result, the keepers of the funds at UM are worried; however, I am happy to say, they are very reluctant to have to cut benefits for their employees; therefore, they are trying mightily to reduce costs. We see their attempts in the various MHealthy preventive programs–the exercise promotion with fun and financial incentives; the health assessment with $2,000,000 worth of incentives; and the Wellness Champions for various units, who are supposed to provide psychological incentives. From both a personal and an institutional point of view, I wish that more people in the UM community understood this and would willingly and enthusiastically take responsibility for their own health. It is not such a difficult thing to do, and it might have positive results both individually and with respect to the common good.