Are you a smoker? Do you like to eat meat more than three times a week? How about your drinking habits? Do you enjoy answering these questions from your doctor at your yearly physical? What if it were your boss asking these questions? Worse still, what if it was the government?
As Paul Hsieh, contributor for Forbes Magazine pointed out in this brilliant article, the ObamaCare mandate is only serving to heighten the need for employers to find “solutions” to the “problem” that Obamacare poses: The basic, logical fact that socialism (whether applied to a political or medical system) won’t work, and will bankrupt businesses. And the businesses it doesn’t bankrupt (such as huge corporations) have teams of attorneys working on how to screw over their employees so they can save a buck.
Thus, in accordance with the “Problem-Reaction-Solution” scenario, the only thing missing is the “reaction”. In order for these companies (including the government itself) to maintain profits, stay on budget, and ALSO “comply” with the Obamacare mandate, they have to “trim the fat” somewhere, and they have to do it by victimizing the lesser of the employees in the company based on preconditioned responses to living habits. It truly is “evil genius”:
Example #1: You want to rent out your guest house. You meet a nice couple who just got married. They’re professional, college-level-educated, and have a steady source of income. They have no pets or children. You are ecstatic, until you get a whiff of them and realize that they smoke cigarettes. Be honest with yourself: What is your “ego response” to this situation? Are you now more or less likely to rent to that couple?
Example #2: You are exhausted. You just took a redeye from Atlanta to DFW, and now you’re headed to your final destination in a smaller jet. You walk up the aisle only to find you’re in the middle seat with two obese individuals on each side of where you will be sitting. Be honest with yourself: What is your “ego response” to this situation? Would you try to ask the stewardess for a change of seats?
These corporations were built upon ego, they know the way you think, and can generally keep you under control 9-5, Monday-Friday, but they don’t want to stop there. Now, they want to get in the deepest, most intimate parts of your life: What you eat or put into your body is somehow going to be their business from now on, because their “Employee Wellness Plans” not only will encourage healthy living habits, they also will punish you for the unhealthy ones.
However, as Forbes, the Boston Globe, and the LA Times have pointed out, they doesn’t stop with just monitoring your exercise and eating habits, and this “voluntary” program isn’t as voluntary as it seems. CVS Caremark, for instance, requires all of its’ employees health information (weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, even body fat), or the employee is fined $600 per year for opting out. As Hsieh writes,
“Workers must make this information available to the company’s employee ‘Wellness Program’ and sign a form stating that they’re doing so voluntarily.”
Looking at this situation from a legal standpoint, it would seem that in order to avoid paying an outrageous fine, most employees signing this form are not doing so “voluntarily”, but rather under duress, for which we believe CVS Caremark could be the target of legal actions down the line from disgruntled employees. These legal actions would not just be for duress, but also discrimination, since it is expected that every “control freak” who joins the “Employee wellness plan” willingly and excitedly will no doubt be disdainful of, if not downright acrimonious or abusive to those employees who choose to smoke or choose to be overweight, or who choose not to participate in the program.
If a master has to constantly spend time whipping and motivating his slave, as well as forever watching that the slave doesn’t escape or do shoddy work, or physically or verbally injure the master, then controlling the slave can end up to be a full time job. When the master gets too much involved in the control process, he ceases to be master, and becomes a slave to the control process. The intelligence agencies knew that they would have to create mind control slaves who could police themselves. – Fritz Springmeier
According to Patient Privacy Rights founder Dr. Deborah Peel (speaking to the Boston Globe), “This is an incredibly coercive and invasive thing to ask employees to do,”, adding that these “policies” are becoming more and more common.
Of course, the New England Journal of Medicine is on top of this, trying to humanize a dehumanizing situation by injecting the issues of bioethics and collective responsibility in the workplace. Here one of the recent articles they’ve written:
“The Ethics of Not Hiring Smokers”
Harald Schmidt, Ph.D., Kristin Voigt, Ph.D., and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D. (Rahm Emanuel’s brother)
N Engl J Med 2013; 368:1369-1371April 11, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1301951
… it seems paradoxical for health care organizations that exist to care for the sick to refuse to employ smokers. Many patients are treated for illnesses to which their behavior has contributed, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, diabetes, and infections spread through unprotected sex or other voluntary activities….
…We as a society have rejected the notion that individuals should be fully responsible for their own health care costs. In instituting health insurance, we acknowledge the fragility of health and the costliness of restoring it, and we minimize catastrophic consequences. The United States has chosen to pool risk predominantly through employers rather than the government. Consequently, U.S. law requires firms with more than 50 employees to provide risk-pooled insurance….
...General Electric’s experience also reflects the political challenges of instituting policies regarding smokers. When the company decided to provide the program to all employees, nonsmokers objected to losing out on what would effectively be lower insurance premiums for their smoker colleagues. In response, the company replaced the $750 reduction with a $625 surcharge for smokers.5 Just like policies of not hiring smokers, penalties imposed on smokers raise serious ethical and policy concerns. The Department of Labor is considering whether to permit employers to penalize smokers with a surcharge of up to 50% of the cost of their health insurance coverage (typically more than $2,000 per employee per year)...
These companies know how to keep their employees fighting with each other instead of demanding reforms from the companies they work for. Your boss, your boss’s boss, your doctor, and Big Brother are all going to work together to make your life miserable until you’re unable to work, in which case your assets will be confiscated and you will be put on a “long-term care” plan, which includes life in a nursing home and death panels when your illnesses would just cost too much money for the state to treat.
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