Skip to comments.Congress Plans Incentives for Healthy Habits
Posted on 05/09/2009 6:51:44 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
In its effort to overhaul health care, Congress is planning to give employers sweeping new authority to reward employees for healthy behavior, including better diet, more exercise, weight loss and smoking cessation.
A web of federal rules limits what employers and insurers can do now.
Congress is seriously considering proposals to provide tax credits or other subsidies to employers who offer wellness programs that meet federal criteria. In addition, lawmakers said they would make it easier for employers to use financial rewards or penalties to promote healthy behavior among employees.
Two Democratic senators working on comprehensive health legislation, Max Baucus of Montana, the chairman of the Finance Committee, and Tom Harkin of Iowa, have taken the lead in devising such incentives.
Prevention and wellness should be a centerpiece of health care reform, said Mr. Harkin, who regularly climbs the stairs to his seventh-floor office on Capitol Hill.
The White House agrees. One of President Obamas eight principles for health legislation is that it must invest in prevention and wellness, a goal espoused in almost identical words by Republican senators like John Cornyn of Texas and Orrin G. Hatch of Utah.
Frank B. McArdle, a health policy expert at Hewitt Associates, a benefits consulting firm, said, Wellness and prevention programs have become a mainstream part of the benefits offered by large employers, and its virtually certain that Congress will include incentives for such programs in its bill. The goals of such programs are to help people control blood pressure, fight obesity and manage diabetes and other chronic conditions.
Under Mr. Harkins proposal, employers could obtain tax credits for programs that offer periodic screenings for health problems and counseling to help employees adopt healthier lifestyles. Programs could focus on tobacco use, obesity, physical fitness, nutrition and depression, he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Will those of us who have been leading healthy lifestyles be getting retroactive rewards or do we have to let ourselves go then reap the ‘rewards’ after we’re declared fit? How many times can we recycle fat to rewards? Show me da money cuz I be fit....for now.
So with all this counseling, screening, etc., will my employees have any time in the day to actually work?
“In its effort to overhaul health care, Congress is planning to give employers sweeping new authority to reward employees for healthy behavior, including better diet, more exercise, weight loss and smoking cessation.’
Sounds like the food police are on their way, to me. I have been warning about this since smoking bans were accepted by the public. A really bad diet can kill you quicker than smoking. So, by the same logic, they can say that it is a public health issue, and that justifies it.
I wonder if there will be additional “tax credits” doled out to humongous welfare recipients that are to be used for fitness programs, or to be able to afford better foods? We hear frequent complaints about how all the horrible fast food outlets are in poor areas. There will be no end to redistribution schemes.
It wouldn’t seem right for rich corporations to be able to help their employees, but those who are economically disadvantaged to not get the help they need.
Yes, they can just say we are mentally ill.
A study just came out showing that the ECONOMIC effects of “preventive care” are negligible. But once government is paying for health care, the claimed economic benefits of preventive care will be astronomical.
The only thing that gives me any hope for my country is all the guns my fellow citizens have.
In theory the concept of wellness programs sounds like it would work.
But, in spite of the hurdles, many private plans and some government plans have been offering various wellness incentives for years.
I don’t think there is a definitive study that provides any evidence that they work as well as theory suggests.
Maybe the “unhealthy” are, in the main, already so, and maybe a majority of participate in a “wellness” incentive are NOT so unhealthy that the wellness incentive makes a difference.
Besides, 2/3 of America’s health bill comes from those age 65 and over and their major problems are related to aging and/or a lifetime of unhealthy behaviors that have left conditions that cannot be easily reversed in the remaining years.
I think the only “wellness” programs that can ever work (create substantial cost savings) are those that begin in childhood and then only when they create a life-time of healthy behavior.
I'll be back after I get another beer, some greasy, salty snacks to munch on and have a cigarette.
A web of federal rules limits what employers and insurers can do now.
Congress is seriously considering proposals to provide tax credits or other subsidies to employers who offer wellness programs that meet federal criteria.
In addition, lawmakers said they would make it easier for employers to use financial rewards or penalties to promote healthy behavior among employees.
Many employers would like to offer smaller or no incentives, and many in Congress want to compel them to offer larger incentives.
Many employees would like to exercise regularly, and many in Congress want to let them do so.
Many employees don't want to exercise of all, and many in Congress want to compel them to do so.
Many employees would like catchup with their fries, and many in Congress want to let them do so.
Many employees want no catchup with their fries, and many in Congress want to compel them to eat ketchup.
They so regularly cave on everything else, ever-ready to sell out rights they don't think they have a personal interest in, why should this give you any hope?
America was a great idea, but it didn't last.
Exactly! Start with “Aids Awareness Day”: = Homo-ism increases Aids and shortens your lifespan ~ 20 years!
Without the mark of the beast.
This would be a "keep your tires inflated" program for health care.
Don't give them any ideas!
F that sheet, I got ZerObots that are going to pay for my health care. I am going to couch down with a cigar and beer.
The party of Jerrold Nadler, Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy & Barack Obama is going to tell us about living healthy.
“It would be a simple matter for a president with a compliant Secretary of Health to declare all conservative thought antisocial and therefore subject to regulation, fines, and even incarceration
Were moving very quickly deep into hardcore fascist territory, and the American people are too preoccupied with their bread and circuses to pay any attention.”
Orwell wasn’t too far off with his date, was he? Only about 25 years! Read “1984” before it disappears down the “memory hole”!;)
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