Our internet friend Amy sent us a link to a short article which just goes to show, we are with fat people now where we were with women about 80 years ago:
Companies are cracking down on the health of their employees. IBM recently said that starting next year it will pay employees $150 if they sign up their kids for a program to fight childhood obesity.
Clarian Health recently revised controversial plans to penalize workers for smoking, having high blood pressure, or body mass index over a certain limit.
The moves are part of a trend among a growing number of employers to monitor their workers’ health. After all, it costs more to insure smokers and overweight people.
Where do we begin?
So, companies want their workers to take better care of their bodies, since healthy workers are cheaper to insure. All fine and understandable and business-like.
But the logical extension of this is that workers who are more expensive to insure will have a harder time getting a job.
It’s not OK to discriminate in hiring on the basis of gender, sexuality, religion, or race, because what is important is whether the person can do the job.
It should not be important how much it costs to insure them.
And do not even get Francesca started on the idea of penalizing workers for being fat . . . because, you know, the social pressures, the difficulties dating, and the parents and aunts and uncles who put us down for years worked real well to keep our BMI’s in the “normal” range, right? Negative reinforcement sure works wonders, right?
Francesca says: This is not a political blog, but I am compelled to point out something important. I spend much time in countries with socialized medicine, and have seen the benefits of it. It is absolutely ridiculous what happens in the United States, wherein businesses consider it their issue whether a worker smokes or is obese — not out of genuine concern for whether they are well, or even for how many sick days they might take, but rather because the employer has a connection to the health insurance. And it is ridiculous that one can only easily get affordable health insurance if one is employed by someone else — someone else who will now be keeping an eye on how often one’s children go to the gym.
Francesca says: She would rather pay for national health care and have fewer amenities in the doctors’ offices, than have to put up with this sort of crap.
Francesca hath spoken.