Obama Wants Healthier Federal Employees
Updated 1:03 p.m. ET
You know the saying that if you want to get ahead in your job it's wise to dress like the boss? Federal employees may also want to start exercising like him.
As President Obama continues his health care reform efforts today, he's asked aides to identify the best private-sector employee wellness and prevention practices and consider adopting similar plans for federal employees and federal workplaces. The Office of Personnel Management will work with the Office of Health Reform, the National Economic Council, the Labor Department and the Office of Management and Budget to develop the plan, Obama announced today.
"There's no quick fix, there's no silver bullet," Obama said today following a meeting with with state health officials and the CEOs of companies that operate employee health care programs.
"Part of what we want to do here, starting here today is to lift up these best practices so other companies can identify and potentially implement them," he said, adding later that he hopes the federal government will also adopt some of the best practices for the benefit of federal employees.
Obama met with the director of an Ohio state government program developed to reduce health risks for Buckeye State employees and representatives of companies that operate employee health care programs, including Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, REI and Safeway.
The president's announcement comes as the General Services Administration prepares to take a healthy step next month and close smoking lounges in the 1,500 federal buildings it manages. His instructions are consistent with statements by OPM Director John Berry, who has said he wants the federal government to become a model employer and adopt the best practices of the private sector, if necessary.
While the president has asked OPM to draw up suggested healthy employee programs, each government agency would have to separately adopt and implement any recommendations.
But it might not hurt to "finally" take up running, or go for the salad instead of that big pizza slice next time you visit the cafeteria.
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