The Corner

Should Your Employer Help You Get Healthier? Or Make You?

I have no principled objection to allowing employers to reward employees who lose weight (a topic Will Saletan discusses here). This has been a cause of Senator Jon Ensign (R., Nev.) in particular. But if we want to move away from employer-provided insurance toward a system in which more individuals own their own insurance policies, as most Republicans do, then is this really an issue to which we want to devote our energies? Republicans are having a hard enough time getting a hearing for free-market health-care ideas without trying simultaneously to make the case that 1) we should shift power in health-care decisions from employers to individuals and 2) companies should be watching what their employees eat.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.