Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Obama Wants Skinnier Feds

“President Barack Obama wants to get the fat out of the bureaucracy — literally. The president was holding a roundtable discussion at the White House on Tuesday with CEOs of companies that have found innovative ways to lower health care costs and improve employees' health. ‘As a result of many successful programs at businesses across the country, workers have become more engaged in their own health care, productivity is increasing, absenteeism is dropping, and employers are passing some of their health care savings to their workers,"’ the White House said in a fact sheet. ‘Employers are discovering that improving quality of care can reduce health care costs. Small actions in the workplace can generate large benefits.’ And smaller waistlines. The White House said Obama ‘will direct the Office of Personnel Management to work with the Office of Health Reform, the National Economic Council, the Department of Labor, and the Office of Management and Budget to examine successful employer wellness and prevention practices that lower health care costs and improve employees’ health and to explore the feasibility of developing such a plan for federal employees and their workplaces. ‘The president hopes that by encouraging more employers to adopt similar programs, we can improve the productivity of our workforce, delay or avoid many of the complications of chronic diseases, and slow medical cost growth,’ the statement said.”

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