Editor’s Note: Health professionals are on a slippery slope when they believe they have the inherent authority to determine what is socially acceptable behavior.
Employers burdened with mandated health insurance by the federal government will think about yet another cost when it comes hiring time; a history of illness? No job. Obese? No job. And the only solution to that would be even more government employees investigating companies for hiring discrimination. The Baylor Health Care System is already doing it. If there is any evidence you use any tobacco product of any kind, you are not getting hired.
The FDA, which has gone out of its way to demonize smoking with trumped up data, is now helping rationalize discrimination. They claim smoking “costs $200 billion a year”, though it’s the same sort of fuzzy math that led the current administration to claims ‘jobs saved’ as success for a stimulus package even though there was no evidence the jobs saved were in jeopardy, or record companies who claimed any downloaded song was someone who would have bought a crappy Mariah Carey CD.
Baylor says they are doing it for America. Said Baylor CEO Joel Allison, “It’s about how do we really focus on the new model of health care around prevention and well, and how do we keep people healthy. And I think that’s very, very important for us as a city, a state and a nation.”
So if you are a real American, you will discriminate against anyone who may hurt your profits? That will revolutionize labor law. Things like race, gender, ethnicity or national origin can’t be a factor when hiring an employee, but if fuzzier metrics can, fat people had better watch out – according to similar made-up numbers from the CDC, obesity costs employers $147 billion a year.