A study in the Journal of Health Affairs looked at the effectiveness of financial incentives to encourage weight loss among 197 obese employees of the University of Pennsylvania health system. The results? It failed. Obese workers, after a year, had lost less than 1.5 pounds on average, statistically no different than the minute average gain of a tenth of a pound for workers who weren’t offered a financial incentive to lose weight. All they had to do was lose 5% of their weight in a year and they would get $550. The NPR article tried to look at what went wrong and they were basically baffled. What’s the answer? It’s obvious isn’t it? They just needed to penalize their doctors for failing to meet quality metric standards. No, it wouldn’t have made them lose any more weight but it would have saved the system money and drive more doctors into retirement. And isn’t that what Obamacare, the hospitals and the insurers are really trying to accomplish?