I was watching the news Tuesday morning while stretching out and a story particularly caught my eye. Check it out here. Since I know that only 10% of you will actually go to that link, let me summarize for you: North Carolina is joining Alabama in charging it’s obese and smoker employees more for health insurance. $25 per month more in most cases. Ouch.
The thinking here is, of course, that both smoking and carrying a few extra lbs is a sure fire way to live an unhealthy life. Think of it as playing with fire. Sure, if you play with matches (cheeseburgers) most of the time you’ll be fine. However, that one time that you played with matches over by the gasoline station (deep fried Twinkies at the state fair), you are certain to get burned. Burned with 2700 calories of deliciousness!
Now, it seems like the topics of my blog are organized into one of the following: Running (and I guess biking?), things that be followed with “that’s what she said”, consultant travel, poop jokes, threats on Billy Crystal’s life, and various goings on in my life….Running and general fitness being the overall themes. So it should probably come as no surprise that I think this is generally a good idea. But, I can’t help but think that it does have a bit of a big brother feel to it. I don’t like the government in my business any more than the next guy and it seems like this would put my healthcare company squarely at the head of my dinner table. Moreover, I think that it will suffice to say that any policy like this will likely affect various socioeconomic classes more than others – and that I don’t like.
So, I am a bit torn. Unfortunately, I think that as costs rise, employers will find one way or another to pass the costs off to Joe SixPack. I wonder what Dr Gupta would say.