There’s a disconnect between who Americans believe is responsible for their personal health status, and who should pay for health care.

On the first question — personal responsibility for health choices — 82% of Americans believe that they alone are responsible for their health.

However, only 44% believe that they should bear no responsibility for paying for health care.

The Vitality Group, a subsidiary of Discovery Holdings Ltd., surveyed Americans and found that most people (59%) look to their employer to bear at least some responsibility for health costs. Nearly 1 in 2 (46%) see the government as payer.

Only 56% of Americans see themselves as picking up any part of health care costs.

This survey was conducted among 1,013 American adults in April 2008. The Vitality Group is part of a wellness company that operates in the U.S., United Kingdom, and South Africa. In the U.S., the company’s employer clients include the likes of Alcon, AOL, and Lenovo.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: Up to 70% of health costs are attributable to preventing disease, according to the Wellness Councils of America and The Center for Health Care Economics. We won’t get to health cost management without individuals connecting the dots between our individual health behaviors and health economics.

Health Populi noted on 8 August that the majority of Americans want major changes in American health care. The fact that they can’t yet own responsibility for being a stakeholder — behaviorally and financially — in these change doesn’t bode well for attacking spiralling health costs in the U.S.