Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Introducing: RahmCare!

Earlier this year, Bob noted that, although sound in theory, so-called "workplace wellness programs" aren't really all that effective at reining in health insurance costs:

"Workplace wellness programs sound like a win-win ... Actuarial studies covering thousands of employees over the last 25 years or so don't bear that out"

That hasn't stopped erstwhile presidential advisor (and current Windy City mayor) Rahm Emmanual from implementing his own version:

"Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced a new “wellness program” for all city employees and their spouses ... The program, called Chicago Lives Healthy, is technically voluntary; but those refusing to participate in it will be penalized $50 a month"

Gotta love that parsing: it's "voluntary" but refuseniks face a $600 annual penalty tax fine assessment. Unsurprisingly, almost half of those eligible have signed up. The program itself entails an initial biometric screening, a comprehensive written assessment, monthly check-ins with a disease-management company, and the list goes on. It'll be interesting to see how this obtrusion into folks' personal life will ultimately play out, and if the city sees any substantive rate relief as a result.

By the way, I would be remiss if I failed to point out that Hizzoner's brother is the "esteemed" Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an outspoken proponent of the "social resource allocation model" of health care.

We know it as "rationing."

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