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.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.
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.
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.