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April 20 2015

Wellness program incentives? Better than ObamaCare

One News Now
Julie Gunlock

An author and critic of big government doesn't see a problem with financial incentives for workplace wellness programs.

Federal regulators said last week that employers can continue to use financial penalties and rewards to promote workplace wellness programs. The Associated Press reports that employers are looking for ways to cut expenses associated with things like chronic illnesses, which can be influenced by lifestyle, not just family history.

Julie Gunlock, a senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum, says businesses can run their businesses the way they want.

"This is free enterprise. This is businesses setting the rules for their own employees," she summarizes. "And if you don't like that, you are free to quit that job and find a job with a company that doesn't.

She continues: "Now I will tell you, I think things like this really work – and I think they work better than things like ObamaCare where people are told [that] the federal government will take care of all [their] medical needs."

Gunlock says she knows people whose employers offer decreases in healthcare costs if employees agree to health assessments and exercising.

"Some people will say, Well, there is other reasons for being overweight – you could have a thyroid problems, you could have a disease, you could be on medication that makes you gain weight. All of these things can be resolved with your employer," she argues.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has proposed safeguards for employees. They include confidentiality of employee medical information and prohibitions against firing workers who decline to participate or denying them access to the company health plan.

Gunlock is author of From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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