The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers' genetic test results

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ochotona
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The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers' genetic test results

Post by ochotona » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:48 pm

I used to think the GOP was the party of liberty and freedom. I thought this a long time ago. No longer.

http://www.businessinsider.com/house-go ... lts-2017-3
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Cortopassi
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Re: The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers' genetic test results

Post by Cortopassi » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:20 pm

Pretty soon they'll be looking at your grocery list, to make sure you aren't eating too much red meat and you have enough "healthy" whole grain purchases!
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Re: The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers' genetic test results

Post by clacy » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:51 pm

They will back down when people are outraged over this. Unless they take the usual, underhanded approach and sneak it a budget or something.
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Re: The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers' genetic test results

Post by Maddy » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:46 pm

Abhorrent, yes--but pretty predictable when you think about how many burdens, previously shouldered by employees and their families, employers are being asked to bear.
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Re: The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers' genetic test results

Post by sophie » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:25 am

Don't entirely blame the Republicans for this one. The ACA cracked open the door with "workplace wellness programs":
The ACA allowed them to charge employees 30 percent, and possibly 50 percent, more for health insurance if they declined to participate in the "voluntary" programs, which typically include cholesterol and other screenings; health questionnaires that ask about personal habits, including plans to get pregnant; and sometimes weight loss and smoking cessation classes. And in rules that Obama's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued last year, a workplace wellness program counts as "voluntary" even if workers have to pay thousands of dollars more in premiums and deductibles if they don't participate.
Probably an inevitable result of the current genetics mania, and a very good reason why I think the whole field is being severely over-hyped with little thought given to the consequences. The link between disease and gene is definite only in rare cases. A lot of the "findings" are statistical anomalies at worst, and a risk factor among many at best. Some idiot gets a paper published and that results in some poor soul paying 50% extra premiums? Disgusting! Not to mention the ethical issues with forcing people to undergo genetic tests that might reveal one of those rare conditions (e.g. early Alzheimer's or Huntington's) for which there is no treatment.
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Re: The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers' genetic test results

Post by tennpaga » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:44 am

Maddy wrote:Abhorrent, yes--but pretty predictable when you think about how many burdens, previously shouldered by employees and their families, employers are being asked to bear.
Out of curiosity, what burdens are you referring to?
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Re: The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers' genetic test results

Post by pugchief » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:50 am

sophie wrote:Don't entirely blame the Republicans for this one. The ACA cracked open the door with "workplace wellness programs":
The ACA allowed them to charge employees 30 percent, and possibly 50 percent, more for health insurance if they declined to participate in the "voluntary" programs, which typically include cholesterol and other screenings; health questionnaires that ask about personal habits, including plans to get pregnant; and sometimes weight loss and smoking cessation classes. And in rules that Obama's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued last year, a workplace wellness program counts as "voluntary" even if workers have to pay thousands of dollars more in premiums and deductibles if they don't participate.
Probably an inevitable result of the current genetics mania, and a very good reason why I think the whole field is being severely over-hyped with little thought given to the consequences. The link between disease and gene is definite only in rare cases. A lot of the "findings" are statistical anomalies at worst, and a risk factor among many at best. Some idiot gets a paper published and that results in some poor soul paying 50% extra premiums? Disgusting! Not to mention the ethical issues with forcing people to undergo genetic tests that might reveal one of those rare conditions (e.g. early Alzheimer's or Huntington's) for which there is no treatment.
Another reason to get rid of employer sponsored health insurance.
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Re: The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers' genetic test results

Post by tennpaga » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:53 am

sophie wrote:Don't entirely blame the Republicans for this one. The ACA cracked open the door with "workplace wellness programs":
The ACA allowed them to charge employees 30 percent, and possibly 50 percent, more for health insurance if they declined to participate in the "voluntary" programs, which typically include cholesterol and other screenings; health questionnaires that ask about personal habits, including plans to get pregnant; and sometimes weight loss and smoking cessation classes. And in rules that Obama's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued last year, a workplace wellness program counts as "voluntary" even if workers have to pay thousands of dollars more in premiums and deductibles if they don't participate.
Well, OK, but the genetics part was excluded from ACA workplace wellness provisions. So I still blame Republicans for eliminating the prohibition on sharing genetic information.

In any case, the article mentions the real reason employers like the workplace wellness provision (and this genetic testing part):
Rigorous studies by researchers not tied to the $8 billion wellness industry have shown that the programs improve employee health little if at all.

An industry group recently concluded that they save so little on medical costs that, on average, the programs lose money. But employers continue to embrace them, partly as a way to shift more health care costs to workers, including by penalizing them financially.
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Re: The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers' genetic test results

Post by Maddy » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:25 am

TennPaGa wrote:
Maddy wrote:Abhorrent, yes--but pretty predictable when you think about how many burdens, previously shouldered by employees and their families, employers are being asked to bear.
Out of curiosity, what burdens are you referring to?
I'm referring primarily to the burden of maintaining health insurance for employees. One high-risk individual in the group, and the already crushing premiums go sky-high. But I'm also talking about sick leave, family leave, and other similarly mandated obligations the costs of which turn, in large part, on the health of employees.

We've put employers into a "in loco parentis" role. Is it surprising that they'd respond with the equivalent of "As long as I'm paying the food bill, you're eating your broccoli?"
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Re: The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers' genetic test results

Post by farjean2 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:06 pm

ochotona wrote:I used to think the GOP was the party of liberty and freedom. I thought this a long time ago. No longer.

http://www.businessinsider.com/house-go ... lts-2017-3
I share your disdain for the GOP but I don't share your thinking on the subject of liberty and freedom. So you think employers should not have the liberty and freedom to demand genetic tests if they want? Now if they are demanding or coercing employers to require the tests like Obamacare then that is a different story.
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Re: The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers' genetic test results

Post by ochotona » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:12 pm

farjean2 wrote:
ochotona wrote:I used to think the GOP was the party of liberty and freedom. I thought this a long time ago. No longer.

http://www.businessinsider.com/house-go ... lts-2017-3
I share your disdain for the GOP but I don't share your thinking on the subject of liberty and freedom. So you think employers should not have the liberty and freedom to demand genetic tests if they want?
No, because that leads to cherry-picking for the healthiest employees, it's a terrible slippery slope.

I pretty much know that I got fired two years ago for being 50+, highly-paid, and I was accruing an excellent salary. The terms of my severance benefit was that I not sue them for age discrimination. That was my choice because it was $130,000 severance. Had it been $13,000 I'd have sued.

But what's next? Genetic testing to screen-out potentially unhealthy employees, and then give them a little severance with terms that they don't sue under ADA?

Work is just getting worse and worse. Corporate profits are at a record. I just say no.
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Re: The House GOP is pushing a bill that would let employers demand workers' genetic test results

Post by farjean2 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:41 pm

ochotona wrote: I pretty much know that I got fired two years ago for being 50+, highly-paid, and I was accruing an excellent salary. The terms of my severance benefit was that I not sue them for age discrimination. That was my choice because it was $130,000 severance. Had it been $13,000 I'd have sued.
I'm surprised that they had a specific provision that you couldn't sue them for age discrimination. That sounds kind of risky on their part.

Mine just contained language taken word for word from a government website in regards to the Older Americans protection act about advising you to contact a lawyer before signing any kind of agreement.
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