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House Bill H.R. 1189 Perpetuates Discrimination
The adopting of House Bill H.R. 1189 - Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, would further support the discrimination already being experienced by certain groups of employees; those most vulnerable and lower paid employees.
NAAFA objects to the findings contained within this Bill for the reasons outlined below.
• BMI is a poor predictor of current and future health
• Weight loss is not a means to "improved health"
• Employee Wellness Programs have not proven to save money for employers and cost shift any savings to the most vulnerable and lower paid employees
• Premium-based financial incentives do not promote weight loss but weight cycling
• Privacy and health information confidentiality (including the collection of genetic information)
• NAAFA believes that it is absolutely necessary to provide an alternative to those that may choose to not disclose their personal information
Congress has a strong tradition of protecting and preserving employee workplace wellness programs, including programs that utilize a health risk assessment, biometric screening, or other resources which can be discriminatory to some employees, particularly those of larger body size. Using BMI as a proxy for health resulted in misdiagnosing 51 % of the healthy people in the United States as unhealthy. We need to stop subsidizing these discriminatory practices of big business.
Best practices to ensure that employer wellness programs are unbiased and, in fact, promote health need to be based on the evidence‐based principles of Health at Every Size (HAES) in working to improve the physical, emotional and mental health of all employees and their families. These principles are aligned with the intent of the Affordable Care Act and NAAFA's mission.
You may read the entire content of NAAFA's letter to the members of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health at: http://www.naafaonline.com/
Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit human rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.
On the web: http://www.naafa.org