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California Lawmaker Wants Rewards Not Penalties in Workplace Health Programs

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, May 2, 2013

 Democratic State Senator Bill Monning says workplace programs that promote prevention and healthy behaviors are likely to flourish under the Affordable Care Act.

But he proposes consumer protections on those programs, to prevent discrimination and cost-shifting to people who struggle to be well.  

MONNING: "What it does seek to do is provide rewards and incentives for participation, and not punish or penalize based on a pre-existing condition."  

But the bill has opposition from insurance brokers and grocers like Safeway.

Micah Weinberg of the Bay Area Council says these programs have good outcomes, and have safeguards under federal laws.

WEINBERG: "We think that they strike the right balance in terms of protecting employees, giving them an out if they're not able to achieve a certain action or meet a certain outcome."

The bill moves next to the Senate Appropriations Committee.  

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