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Question: As a result of rising health-care

As a result of rising health-care costs and the challenge to contain them, companies are trying to encourage employees to take better care of themselves, and some are even penalizing employees if they do not. Wal-Mart Inc. has announced that, starting in 2012, free smoking cessation programs will be made available to employees but tobacco users will be charged higher health care premiums. A survey conducted by a consulting firm and the National Business Group on Health reports that 40 percent of large- and mid-sized companies will use penalties in their employee health care system, up from 18 percent in 2009. What do you think of businesses’ attempts to decrease health care costs by helping employees to become healthier? What are the ethical issues associated with a firm’s choice to cut health care costs by eliminating people who are unhealthy? What rights, duties, responsibilities, and consequences does this strategy imply? Do you think people who don't take care of themselves should be responsible for their increased healthcare costs? How would you feel personally if your past health conditions and current health practices were a part of an employment application?


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