Sunday, February 18, 2007

Big Brother as Health Coach

Many people may cheer upon reading this Business Week account of the way Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. monitors the health of its employees, but my reaction is negative; in fact, I think such programs are chilling.

Most of us dislike Orwellian Big Brother government.

Why should we embrace private sector Big Brothers?


But Seriously Folks... said...


This kind of thing does not surprise me.

I've always thought that in a relatively democratic and free country, it's strange how employees basically give up most of their rights to have and keep a job.

That's the way most large companies prefer it I think.

Roger Bauer said...

I disagree a little bit here Michael. If Scott's is willing to shell out that kind of money to help employees improve themselves and reduce healthcare costs, they should have the right to monitor progress. If employees wish to opt out and pay their own healthcare costs, they can do as they choose with their health. Same goes for someone who knows about the plan when seeking a job there--don't accept a job if you disagree with the program.

Just my two cents.

Michael Wade said...

It is strange. One person commented that, given this program's justification, companies could try to regulate sexual behavior in the name of good health.

Michael Wade said...

A belated follow-up to Roger's comment. I see nothing wrong when employers set the terms of various types of coverage; e.g., you get a better deal if you live a healthy lifestyle and are willing to put up with monitoring. I don't like monitoring where there is no choice and certainly have a problem with monitoring that is excessively intrusive, such as monitoring of sexual behavior. Think of the people who could have been excluded by these programs. Churchill, deGaulle, and FDR were no pictures of health.