Monday, May 11, 2009

The New York Times' Robert Pear reported over the weekend that Congress is planning to put language in the health reform bill to give employers "sweeping new authority to reward employees for healthy behavior, including better diet, more exercise, weight loss and smoking cessation."

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-MT, and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-IA, are taking the lead in devising such incentives. Harkin recently re-introduced his legislation to provide tax credits or other subsidies to employers who offer wellness programs that meet federal criteria. In addition, Pear reports, "lawmakers said they would make it easier for employers to use financial rewards or penalties to promote healthy behavior among employees."


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