Unethical Financial Insurance Penalties Essay

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Unethical Financial Penalties Deborah A. Reynolds Chamberlain School of Nursing Life is full of choices. A nurse who has been named nurse of the year twice in her career, has her masters in science, and has her certification in critical care also weighs three hundred pounds. A computer engineer who has designed a patented accounts payable program also goes home nightly and relaxes with a six pack of beer. A cashier at the local Wegmans has the record for scanning more products per hour than anyone else in the organization also smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. An accountant who has never missed a day’s work also races in dirt bike tournaments. An African American father adds salt to everything he eats. A farmer sprays his fields with fertilizer, but never wears a mask. A fifty-year old man working in a factory never sees a doctor also has a strong family history of cancer. Lifestyle choices carry health risks. Who is ultimately responsible for the costs of unhealthy lifestyle choices? Healthcare in America is threatened by rising health care costs and the increasing incidence and financial burden of chronic diseases. As employers, insurance companies, and the government seek to decrease these escalating costs, there is a concentration on individual health behavioral choices and the personal obligation of the individual to adopt healthy lifestyle choices. Within the framework of health care reform, there is a growing initiative by employers to impose financial health insurance penalties for unhealthy lifestyle choices. Financial penalties levied by employers and health insurance companies for unhealthy lifestyles are unethical targeting the most vulnerable and sick in our society. Employers and insurance companies have an argument for penalties based on the cost analysis of health expenditures on high risk populations such as smokers and obese

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