When Obamacare was passed, many large corporations supported the new healthcare law, mainly due to the provisions that encouraged wellness programs but on Saturday, it appears that those same corporations are having second thoughts on continuing to support President Obama’s and democratic passed healthcare law due to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuits filed against some companies, the Washington Examiner reported.
Sean Higgins of the Washington Examiner reported that the corporations, who are members of The Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of over 200 leading U.S. companies are not happy that the Obama administration is challenging those companies certain “workplace wellness” programs, are threatening to side with anti-Obamacare alliances unless the administration and the EEOC backs down. And as reported by Reuters, the Obamacare programs were aimed to control healthcare costs by reducing smoking, obesity, hypertension and other risk factors that can lead to expensive illnesses. However, recent lawsuits filed by the Obama administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), challenging the programs at Honeywell International and two smaller companies, have thrown the future of Obamacare into uncertainty.
At the center of the EEOC Obamacare lawsuit, the suit focused on Honeywell International and two other companies, in which the EEOC had filed suit against those company’s wellness programs, which required employees and their spouses to undergo biometric screening to determine their cholesterol levels and body mass index or face a $1,000 fine. The lawsuit angered many large companies associated with the Business Roundtable and they are speaking out to halt the interference of the wellness programs and by the EEOC suing those companies and any other company, as it undermines corporation’s ability to follow the law. “The fact that the EEOC sued is shocking to our members,” said Maria Ghazal, vice-president and counsel at the Business Roundtable to Reuters. “They don’t understand why a plan in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the target of a lawsuit… This is a major issue to our members.”
John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable (BRT) wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Treasury Secretary and Managing Trustee Jacob J. Lew, and Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, expressing his disbelief on what the EEOC and the Obama administration is doing in undermining the law and negating the benefits of those plans. In part, Engler said in his letter, “I am writing on behalf of the Business Roundtable to express my strong disappointment with the efforts of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to take actions against large employers who are complying with the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In particular, the EEOC has targeted employers by filing lawsuits against employers that have established ACA compliant wellness programs, undermining both the statutory provisions of the ACA that expressly permit employers to establish wellness programs.”
“I am writing to ask that you personally engage on this matter to defend the ACA and thwart all future inappropriate actions against employers who are complying with these provisions, “said Engler. “If employers believe that complying with the letter of the law can still result in enforcement actions, it will send a chilling effect across the country. Allowing the EEOC to act in contravention to the positive provision of the ACA without reproach from the Departments charged with governing and overseeing these programs will send a message to employers that certain ACA provisions are interpretative only and remain subject to litigation. It is a shameful day when well-intentioned and well-informed reliance on regulations, driven by the good will of employers to offer positive, innovative programs to their employees, can result in litigation.”
Reuters stated that it is not clear how many members of the group, whose companies sponsor health insurance representing 40 million employees, are considering any action and that it is also not clear if the Obama administration is willing to stop the EEOC from challenging the wellness programs within the corporations. The EEOC lawsuit adds to the continuation of the deception and lies by the Obama administration when MIT economics teacher and Obamacare architect, Jonathan Gruber called Americans “stupid” when it comes to Obamacare and then further said that the disastrous Obamacare rollout will be long forgotten because those “stupid” Americans also have short attention spans.