Senate health bill may encourage discrimination

You’re a good worker but your heart rate and blood sugar are high. Sorry, according to the provisions of the Senate health care bill, your employer could charge you thousands of dollars per year for those preexisting conditions, at least according to a long list of analysts looking at the bill.

Mike Lillis has the story at the Washington Independent:

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The proposal threatens to undercut a central goal of the Democrats’ health-care reforms: to eliminate the common practice of basing premium rates on the health of patients.

At issue are employer-based wellness programs, which aim to prevent common conditions related to smoking, overeating, lack of exercise and other unhealthy behaviors — conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. Both the House and Senate bills promote such programs, but the Senate bill, critics argue, would allow employers to raise rates on all of their workers, then lower them only for folks who meet certain wellness targets. Such a system would effectively force less healthy workers to subsidize the insurance plans of those more fit — an unfair penalty in the eyes of many medical groups.

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About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic | 720-432-2128 |

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