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Interest Groups Deny Personal Responsibility

Editor’s note: Interest groups in the article below are avoiding dealing with the central question of health care cost escalation – namely personal responsibility. Giving people incentives to do the right thing – stopping smoking, exercising, maintaining a health weight, complying with their physician’s instructions like taking their prescribed meds — are not in my view discriminatory they are requiring people to take financial accountability for the cost of their health care.

Wellness provision in health bill opposed by American Heart, BCBS as discriminatory

WASHINGTON — Senate healthcare bill incentives designed to encourage healthy lifestyles unfairly target the poor, elderly, overweight, and disabled, and could be exploited by insurance companies for financial gain, advocacy groups claim.

Dozens of health, justice, and disability organizations have signed onto a letter urging senators to remove a provision in their healthcare reform bill that would allow insurers to provide reimbursements or incentives to workers who meet certain fitness goals laid out in workplace wellness programs.

But in rewarding healthy people for making good choices, those who don’t meet fitness goals would be unfairly penalized, the groups said.

“It’s indistinguishable from medical underwriting,” Sue Nelson, vice president for federal advocacy of the American Heart Association (AHA), told reporters during a Thursday call.

“This is a loophole that [insurance companies] will drive right through on day one,” added Andrew Kurz, former chief financial officer of Wisconsin Blue Cross-Blue Shield. “This can lead to huge differences in premiums.”

More of Wellness provision in health bill opposed by American Heart, BCBS as discriminatory

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January 8, 2010 - Posted by | Accountability, Cost, healthcare, insurance, Prevention and Wellness | , , , ,

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