© Reuters/Lucas JacksonA pair of smokers stand outside of an office building in the Times Square region of New York April 1, 2009.
Like a lot of companies, Veridian Credit Union wants its employees to be healthier. In January, the Waterloo, Iowa-company rolled out a wellness program and voluntary screenings.
It also gave workers a mandate - quit smoking, curb obesity, or you'll be paying higher healthcare costs in 2013. It doesn't yet know by how much, but one thing's for certain - the unhealthy will pay more.
The credit union, which has more than 500 employees, is not alone.
In recent years, a growing number of companies have been encouraging workers to voluntarily improve their health to control escalating insurance costs. And while workers mostly like to see an employer offer smoking cessation classes and weight loss programs, too few are signing up or showing signs of improvement.
So now more employers are trying a different strategy - they're replacing the carrot with a stick and raising costs for workers who can't seem to lower their cholesterol or tackle obesity. They're also coming down hard on smokers. For example, discount store giant Wal-Mart says that starting in 2012 it will charge tobacco users higher premiums but also offer free smoking cessation programs.
Tobacco users consume about 25 percent more healthcare services than non-tobacco users, says Greg Rossiter, a spokesman for Wal-Mart, which insures more than 1 million people, including family members. "The decisions aren't easy, but we need to balance costs and provide quality coverage."
It should be clear by now that the US has become a fascist state than ever before. Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with concern for the health of others - if that was the case, they wouldn't be paying people slave wages and selling poisonous food. With the economic crisis worsening, the fat cats at Wal-Mart and elsewhere want more for themselves and less for everybody else. They won't stop at raising healthcare costs for obese people and smokers. We're all in their sights.
Consider the fact that the US currently has the highest level of obese populace
in the world. And the fact that most people who smoke aren't smoking organic tobacco (which has proven to be beneficial for some
). The underlying health problems of people who happen to smoke commercial cigarattes are caused by off-the-charts stress levels from living in a world dominated and controlled by psychopaths.
This is another sign of a totalitarian takeover by rich psychopaths who only care about filling their pockets. And a sure sign that the US's reign as a so called "first world country" is coming to an end.