“I’m from the Government and I’m Here to Help.”

Please don't! We reported previously that in creating wellness programs to encourage healthy behavior employers face a maze of thwarting federal regulations. Now we may go to the other extreme:

Congress is seriously considering proposals to provide tax credits or other subsidies to employers who offer wellness programs that meet federal criteria…… Under [Sen. Tom Harkin's (D-IA)] proposal, employers could obtain tax credits for programs that offer periodic screenings for health problems and counseling to help employees adopt healthier lifestyles. Programs could focus on tobacco use, obesity, physical fitness, nutrition and depression, he said.

Also reported here, most wellness programs are not cost effective. But who knows? Some may turn out to be. What is needed is a level playing field. Let innovation, experimentation and competition find out what works and what doesn't – not Congressional committees.

Comments (2)

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  1. Ron Greiner says:

    I ran 6 Richard Simmons Anatomy Asylums with 30,000 members. I also run tax free HSA commercials in Iowa. Senator Harkin needs to get Iowa to lose some weight.

    The maximum a 5’7″ woman can weigh is 255lbs. I have to tell Iowa women, “As soon as you lose 60lbs you can get insurance and go tax free.”

    Tax credits for employers to get their employees to lose weight? Please, Senator Harkin needs to be put back in the private sector were he belongs.

    Once Iowa women get down to 255lbs they can get insurance. Then they can go back to 315lbs and keep their coverage. So as soon as they qualify they can start drinking 8 cokes a day again.

    It’s a new day. There’s a new way. Total tax freedom.

  2. Ken says:

    This is one stupid idea.