Corporate CEOs that once backed the president and the Affordable Care Act are now grimacing at the administration and have threatened to switch sides, reported Reuters.
Despite “workplace wellness” program provisions being written into the ACA, large corporations have supported the law. The programs were designed to regulate health care costs by reducing unhealthy ailments like obesity, hypertension, and the effects of smoking. The provision lets companies reward program participants and penalize non-participants.
However, the administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently filed lawsuits that challenge the programs at Honeywell International and two other companies. According to Reuters, the lawsuits have “thrown the future of that part of Obamacare in doubt.” Corporations are now throwing toddler-like temper tantrums over the suit.
“The fact that the EEOC sued is shocking to our members,” said Maria Ghazal, vice-president and counsel at the Business Roundtable. “They don’t understand why a plan in compliance with the ACA is the target of a lawsuit.”
The lawsuit seems to insist that these employers are requiring workers to submit to health screenings. Such an act violates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Moreover, the main basis of the lawsuits is that these medical screenings are “no longer voluntary is employees face up to $4,000 in penalties for non-participation, loss of insurance, or even their jobs.”
Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs from top American corporations, has been the most vocal on behalf of the companies. The group sent a letter to the Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services cabinets asking them to “thwart all future inappropriate actions against employers who are complying with” the law.
However, the administration responded by saying it supports workplace health “while ensuring that individuals are protected from unfair underwriting practices that could otherwise reduce benefits based on health status.”
The actions of the companies appear borderline discriminatory. They appear as if they are trying to find loopholes within the law in order to lower insurance spending and increase its bottom line. The companies’ response is little more than a hissy fit and maybe some regret that they might have gotten caught. It all boils down to company greed.