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The San Francisco Chronicle reports on how one of the amendments in the health care reform bill passed by the US Senate Finance Committee this week is the so-called “Safeway Amendment,” which is designed to “incentivize Americans to lead healthy lifestyles in order to lower their overall health care costs," and “would allow companies with self-insurance programs to reward employees with bonuses and/or premium reductions of up to 50 percent if they follow health guidelines, like undergoing regular screenings, quitting smoking, losing weight, taking cholesterol-reducing medications and so on.”

The amendment’s provisions resemble Safeway’s own health care program, called “Healthy Measures,” which has been applauded by President Obama and politicians on both sides of the aisle. The amendment was sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) and Sen. John Ensign (R-Nevada).

Critics, however – including the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association – say that the approach is discriminatory.
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