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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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March 21, 2013 - 9:07 am

CVS pharmacies is responding to ObamaCare by ordering its employees to reveal deep personal information or face higher insurance premiums.

The company announced Wednesday what it called “A Plan for Health,” that features a mix of rewards and penalties for employees.

Among the measures, employees must report their weight, body fat, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Workers must also be tobacco free or enroll in an addiction program by next year.

As Yakov Smirnov might say, in Soviet Russia, your pharmacy prescribes YOU.

Employees who refuse will have to pay $50 more for health coverage each month, totaling $600 a year.

In a video released by CVS, a top executive said the plan is progressive and cutting edge. “These changes aren’t just about costs, they’re about us, each of us taking personal accountability for our own health,” said Lisa Bissacia, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer.

She has a point. The CVS plan is quite progressive, in that progressives really don’t believe in the private sphere other than its utility as a wedge issue. They believe in privacy when it comes to abortion, for instance, but not when it comes to how large a soda you want to drink, whether you want to own a firearm, or whether you would like to not have to subsidize other people’s lifestyle choices. Your dollars aren’t really yours, they’re just dollars the government hasn’t chosen to take away from you.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (3)
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This is kinda fun to complain about and blame on CommieCare, but "privacy" is only a public concern when government seeks to pierce one's privacy using state power. If an employee doesn't want to give up the information, they can pay more or they can choose to work elsewhere; there is no government coercion in their choice.

As someone who once was involved in a HI plan's benefits and administration, I would love to know much more about the employees I covered, but as a governmental actor we knew there were limits on our ability to pierce employee privacy and we knew it would be expensive to find out where those limits were. Our employees howled about privacy and threatened to sue when we forced them to reveal the names and nature of the relationship to those they were claiming as dependents and then asked for things like birth certificates, divorce papers, adoption papers, etc. Funny how a lot of dependents disappeared when we did that. Lots of companies have gone so far as to refuse to hire you at all if you smoke and the courts have upheld it. I suspect political correctness will prevent asking male employees if they're gay, but as a plan administrator I'd want to. A governmental actor would have trouble asking them about drug use because it is a crime and they could probably refuse on 5th Am. grounds, though that would be an interesting case. I don't think the courts have drawn the lines very well in distinguishing public employers' role as merely an employer and the role of a government circumscribed by a constitution and acting with police powers, see, e.g., Loudermill v. Cleveland Board the seminal case in imposing Constitutional strictures on a public employer acting purely as an employer.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Unfortunately, this is what happens when you accept "benefits." And we can't not accept them because without them we couldn't afford insurance. As soon as you take someone's money, they have a hold over you.

You know how we conservatives often complain about government welfare programs that serve only to keep the poor poor? I don't need a job, the government sends me a check every month...

Well, maybe government and company health insurance serves to keep the unhealthy unhealthy. I don't need to take care of myself, when I get sick my insurance will pay for it...

If we can insist on welfare reform (welfare to work, etc.), what's wrong with insisting on health insurance reform? Stay well, your premiums go down. Stay sick, fat, etc., you pay a penalty. Why should the collective "we" pay the tab for YOUR dysfunctional lifestyle? But since we ARE paying the tab, we have a right to know what you eat and how much exercise you get.

That's the logic, anyway.

The fact is, the government and insurance companies have got us by the short ones. And there's nothing we can do about it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
While I'm not okay with the employer collecting the information, I AM okay with a health insurance company collecting that kind of informatin in the same way that I'm okay with life insurance companies collecting it. It is relevant to what they will potentially have to pay and therefore is relevant to what I should have to pay as a customer.

However this is another example of why it is a bad idea to have the employer between consumers and their healthcare insurance and providers. I don't want employers to have that data and while I don't interact on a regular basis with my health insurance provider I DO with my employer. My employer already does this kind of thing and the regular emails about how to live healthier and make better choices do start to get on my nerves. I like having access to the information and programs they have to keep the workplace healthy, but it gets a bit Orwellian at times.

Ultimately freedom means both being able to make the bad choices for yourself, and bearing the responsibility for paying for it, as long as it's across the board and it isn't just the politically easy target of the day. Smokers have been paying more for services like insurance for a while. But what about gay men? If you can ask about my risk of death or needing treatment due to cancer you should be able to ask about my risk of death or necessary treatment due to my sexual activities.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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