It makes no sense to me why, when there is no evidence that employee “wellness programs” work, they are being foisted down the throats of American workers. My wife declined to participate in her workplace wellness program, refused to go to the website and fill out their questionnaire. No, they may not draw her blood or take her blood pressure or weigh her. No, she won’t answer questions about her personal health habits, lifestyle, and choices. Is it because she doesn’t want to be healthy? Nope. She is a cancer patient in remission so she’s all about her health. She gets check-ups every two months and tries to make decent choices that foster her continued good health. What she will not do it submit to the barrage of emails from HR health-Nazis to fill out her health profile. It is her business. And for those of you who think that she does this to exploit taking sick days, let me assure you that she doesn’t take sick days. Ever. She went through 6 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation and worked AROUND it. She missed one day and made it up by working another day that week, so don’t tell me these bs, liberal, feel-good programs do anything. It’s about choice. Mine, hers and yours. And she exercised it by saying NO to the employer health monitoring so popular these days.
Have you ever wondered what happens to all that information you enter into these seemingly benign computer programs that promise to give you some stupid health profile so you can change your dastardly ways and thus free yourself of ever getting sick again? She did. Someone at an employee health-Nazi forum she attended last fall, (before her rates were jacked), asked what her employer does with all of the information it collects on their eating habits, drinking habits, weight, blood pressure, moods-and the answer was, “Nothing as far as I know.” Nothing? She had no idea where the information went, whether it was going to some big employee database for analysis, or what the employer does with it. My concern? That this information is someday used against her. For now the program where she works is voluntary, but it is only a matter of time before it is mandatory. If that doesn’t concern you, it should. And if you are thinking, “I don’t smoke” or “I only have a beer a day” or “I’m only a few pounds overweight” so it doesn’t matter, you are wrong. That “it’s not my ox” mentality is foolish because it WILL be your ox eventually. And this deliberate shift by Obamacare to foment these stupid wellness programs is nothing more than a government attempt to extend the nanny state into the workplace.
The wellness questionnaires, point systems, and financial rewards for compliance are an invasion of your privacy, and one more reason why health insurance should NOT be in the purview of the employer or the state. Health insurance belongs in the private marketplace so that when a company engages in actions-like these stupid, intrusive wellness programs, you can take your business elsewhere. The government has no business mandating what an employer can offer, using the power of state to manipulate employers and employees with fines or financial rewards for instituting programs that have no evidence of success. Our health care insurance system is not better, costs are not coming down, and people are not healthier as a result of this crap. We merely sacrifice another little bit of our privacy.