28 October 2009

The Skinny on W.Va.'s Proposed "Fat Tax"

Gov. Joe Manchin is questioning the existence of a proposed "fat tax" on West Virginia public employees, The Associated Press reports.

Manchin tells AP's Tom Breen that "talk of punishing hefty state workers who get health coverage through the Public Employees Insurance Agency is inaccurate and misleading." He instead "says he wants to look for ways to reward healthy choices, and wants to hear all the available options."

PEIA's Finance Board began discussing "phased-in personal responsibility agreements" in May, as AP reported at the time.

Agency Director Ted Cheatham "proposed linking premium breaks to blood screenings, advance end-of-life care directives, and ultimately enrollment in a preventive care-wellness plan," that article said. "Board members said they needed more time to weigh that proposal and seek public comment."

In Wednesday's article, "
Perry Bryant, a former member of the PEIA finance board, agrees that talk of premium differentials based on health choices came not from Manchin, but from within the agency."

The Charleston Gazette has articles on a proposed "fat tax" here, here, here and here.

1 comment:

clear eyes said...

How is giving skinny people a discount any different than charging fat people more? It's the same difference as a cash discount vs. a credit card surcharge (i.e. a difference in name only).