Health Bill Has a Big Carrot for the Healthy

Senate measure would let employers cut premiums up to 50%
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2009 12:04 PM CDT
Health Bill Has a Big Carrot for the Healthy
Acting Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, right, huddles with the committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Mike Enzi, center, and Sen. Lamar Alexander.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – A measure slipped into the Senate’s health care reform bill could cut workers’ insurance costs by up to half if they eat well, lose weight, and quit smoking, the Boston Globe reports. The measure may be key to encouraging Americans to stay healthy without too much government imposition, a major point of contention in the debate. “Money talks,” notes Sen. Judd Gregg.

Firms that offer health insurance can currently cut costs by just 20% for employees who work to get healthier. The bill would push that figure to 30%, and allow the Obama administration to hike it to 50%. The bill “will help Americans become healthier, avoid illness, and reduce health care costs to individuals, businesses, and the government,” said acting health committee chairman Chris Dodd. (Read more health care stories.)

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