Sunday, September 22, 2013

Penn State's Wellness Plan

Another growing trend in the anti-worker movement in Corporate America is the invasive nature of wellness plans that employers are forcing on their workers.  Penn State is just one of the latest entities that had to deal with this (emphasis mine):
At issue was an online questionnaire the university unveiled in July as part of a new wellness plan. The plan was aimed at cutting the institution's health-care costs, which have risen by 20 percent over the last two years, to more than $217-million in the 2013-14 academic year.

Among other questions, the online survey asked employees about their plans to become pregnant, about how frequently they drank too much alcohol, and about whether they had experienced problems with violence, depression, or a divorce or separation.

The questions drew loud objections from both inside the university and out. Professors said the university was compelling employees to reveal private information or face a $100-a-month fine.


The university said that while it would drop the $1,200 annual fine for those who failed to answer the questionnaire, it could not afford to delay the wellness plan for a year. It will still ask employees to complete the survey and to participate in the plan's two other elements.

They ask employees to pledge to have a complete physical examination in the next year and to undergo health screenings to measure waist size, blood pressure, and other indicators. Those screenings are being performed this fall on the Penn State system's campuses by the university's health-care provider.
It's not coincidental that the health care provider. The are manipulating the situation so that they can control the employees on medical decisions that should be between the worker and his or her doctor.

Furthermore, it is a sign of just how out of control that whole health care field has become.  Instead of penalizing the employees and trying to coerce them into programs where the motives are more geared towards control of our lives in the guise of cost saving, the employers should find ways to control the real issue in health care costs - pure corporate greed.


  1. They have a fetish for probing body cavities. Some of them even like to wear diapers when being "schooled" by the hookers. Vote Republican for more vaginal and anal probes.

  2. The only thing our health care company has done so far is to try and get people enrolled in their "walking spree" wear-a-pedometer-at-all-times program.

    To get employees motivated to get their butts out of the couch, there are giveaways, monthly competitions against other divisions of the company, and anybody who wanted one got a free pedometer.

    It hasn't been intrusive, the program's completely voluntary, a few former borderline lard-asses have become much more svelte, and it's probably been a win-win.

    But at the same time -- I've been putting off getting a physical for almost two years. Colonoscophobia.