A Saturday story in the Washington Examiner suggests that the Business Roundtable is considering joining the growing revolt against Obamacare. The group, consisting of corporate CEOs, had supported the Affordable Care Act based on the notion that it would cut health care costs. While the law was still being debated, the Wall Street Journal reported the CEOs in question had been “bought” with those promises that have since turned out to be illusionary, to say the least.
The development that has the Business Roundtable having real second thoughts about Obamacare concerns wellness programs that are mandated under the health care reform law. In order to cut health care costs, the ACA encourages businesses to institute wellness programs, including smoking cessation and anti-obesity programs. These wellness initiatives can have incentives for participation and penalties for non-participation.
The problem is that the EEOC, which handles discrimination in the workplace, has decided that these types of wellness programs are in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. So the government agency has decided to file suit against businesses that are conducting wellness programs that are mandated under the Affordable Care Act. These suits are despite the fact that the businesses were careful to craft their programs with the advice of government lawyers to make certain they were in compliance with federal statutes.
The situation is a kind of catch 22 brought on by the left hand of the federal government not knowing what the right hand is doing. It has placed American business in an impossible situation. The matter can either be resolved by the courts, a long and expensive process or the legislative process, repealing and replacing Obamacare with something more sensibly written.