Uncategorized

Repeal misguided wellness provisions for state workers

A bill has been filed in the House to repeal the penalties for state employees who do not meet certain body mass index standards or who use tobacco products.

These “wellness” provisions were hastily cobbled together during the State Health Plan 2009 bailout debate. No experts were consulted in creating the legislation. Research on best practices went ignored.

The penalty for state workers using tobacco products was coupled with a provision allowing for the random testing of all public employees. Legislation gave the State Health Plan authority to take blood and breath tests to make sure none of those teachers or corrections officers were trying to sneak a nip of nicotine.

There is nothing wrong with wellness programs. There is nothing wrong with positive incentives to encourage smokers to join cessation programs or obese workers to join weight loss groups. But even these positive incentives much be designed carefully with employee input and expert advice.

Legislators should repeal the current “fat tax”. Once State Health Plan governance is straight and stable then the new administrators can design a wellness plan that is fair and effective.

Check Also

Context is key for understanding Insurance Commissioner’s Affordable Care Act comments

Many people were surprised to see a story ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

With midterm elections around the corner, lawmakers have, unsurprisingly, taken aim at last minute c [...]

On May 25, the news headlines read that Democratic state Senate candidate Jen Mangrum had been disqu [...]

If it seemed impossible that neighbors of industrialized hog farms had any legal rights left to lose [...]

Can you put a price tag on victims' rights? A fiscal note obtained by NC Policy Watch that has [...]

The post SB 711 – The pig’s roast appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

In another effort to pander to the minority of Americans who want to make abortion and birth control [...]

The practice of loading down noncontroversial legislation with divisive and partisan provisions is a [...]

It usually happens a few times every legislative session: at some point during their annual stay in [...]