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The Nanny Corporation

Megan McArdle details some of the lengths employers are going through to control health care costs:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’m pretty skeptical.  Let’s start by asking what the selection bias was.  Cleveland fired two high-profile doctors who wouldn’t quit smoking.  One imagines that employees who do not want their employer nannying them about their gym time and alcohol consumption probably decline to work at the Clinic.

As someone who is currently unemployed heading on 4 months now, I would starve and lose my house before I took a job with an employer who took such a vibrant interest in my personal life. Certainly if this was the cost of employer provided health care, I would go elsewhere. Maybe that’s the point.

3 Responses to “The Nanny Corporation”

  1. mobo says:

    With unemployment so high, employers can get away with just about anything. They have the pick of the litter, and that won’t change until people have more employment options.

    • mobo says:

      From the article:

      “By making it harder and more expensive for employees to be unhealthy, the clinic has radically overstepped the traditional, laissez-faire approach of employers to their workers’ personal habits.

      It also opens the door to onerous forms of discrimination. The clinic no longer hires smokers. Will the obese eventually face similar hurdles? What about fans of fast food? The experiment might work at a famed medical center where the CEO plausibly argues that aggressive leadership in health care is central to the institution’s mission.”

      And I would argue that this is exactly what a laissez-faire business environment looks like. No government intervention = laissez-faire = companies get to decide if they want to employ (or continue to employ) fat people, smokers, fast food eaters, skateboarders, hang gliders, etc…..

  2. johnnysquire says:

    I would gladly work for a private employer who pushed health insurance cost savings measures onto its employees. It means I pay less for my coverage.

    It’s certainly going to be a better deal for me than any “single payer” premium, and it’s better for folks who get sick due to causes that aren’t “lifestyle” inflicted, since they’ll have lower rates too.

    If the issue is that employers will “discriminate” – that’s true and it’s a GOOD thing. I’m pretty confident that the 2A is enough to keep gun ownership/use in the category of unlawful items (age, race, sex) to discriminate upon.

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