Why is healthcare coverage so tightly tied to employment? Because during World War II the government implemented wage and price controls so employers had to find another forms of compensation to offer in order to attract employees. Although those controls are gone the damage remains.
Since health insurance is tied to employment (i.e. the employer usually pays part of an employees health insurance premium), employers have become incentivized to control the price of health insurance. This has lead some companies to implement various wellness programs while other employers want to take things to an entirely different level:
It’s hard to imagine a more sensitive type of personal information than your own genetic blueprints. With varying degrees of accuracy, the four-base code can reveal bits of your family’s past, explain some of your current traits and health, and may provide a glimpse into your future with possible conditions and health problems you could face. And that information doesn’t just apply to you but potentially your blood relatives, too.
Most people would likely want to keep the results of genetic tests highly guarded—if they want their genetic code deciphered at all. But, as STAT reports, a new bill that is quietly moving through the House would allow companies to strong-arm their employees into taking genetic tests and then sharing that data with unregulated third parties as well as the employer. Employees that resist could face penalties of thousands of dollars.
First the government implements wage and price control laws that force employers to find another means of compensating their employees. After the system is firmly cemented the government then swoops in to save the day by implementing information control laws. Then the government implements a healthcare law that prevents insurance companies from turning away people with preexisting conditions, which causes healthcare coverage premiums to skyrocket. Now the government is taking away the privacy laws that were enacted because of it’s original stupidity in order to help employers dodge the consequences from the government’s previous idiocy.
A company can’t just fire somebody because of their genetic makeup, right? While the existence of government enacted employee protection laws might lead you to believe such a thing the truth is that there is a practically limitless number of reasons for an employer to fire an employee. If an employee is a potential liability due to the effect they might have on the group healthcare coverage premium, an employer can find some reason to legally fire them.
We are here because of what government has done but I’m sure people will continue to blame the “free market” instead.