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Daily Bafflements

Genetic testing, Medicaid “reform,” and kugel
Art for Daily Bafflements.


• In Case You Missed It (to be fair, you might have been distracted by the efforts of congressional Republicans to take away your life-saving health coverage): a little-discussed bill called HR 1313 is on the rise, approved by a House committee. It would allow employers to require workers to undergo genetic testing or else face a steep fee. Companies claim they need such dystopian measures to effectively implement “wellness programs,” though as STAT News points out,

Employers got virtually everything they wanted for their workplace wellness programs during the Obama administration. The ACA allowed them to charge employees 30 percent, and possibly 50 percent, more for health insurance if they declined to participate in the “voluntary” programs, which typically include cholesterol and other screenings; health questionnaires that ask about personal habits, including plans to get pregnant; and sometimes weight loss and smoking cessation classes.

• Our friends over at Pacific Standard took a look at the response from disabled Americans to the proposed annihilation of Medicaid. “The disability community is a hand with many fingers,” said advocate Ari Ne’eman, “but what’s happening right now is that they are all closing together into a fist.”

• Taking a break from the hard work of managing our long day’s journey into fascism, a group of our fearless legislators participated in the seventh annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition. Contenders included a Minnesota Wild Rice dish (named for the hockey team), a “Right to Bear Arms” casserole (yes, there was actual bear meat), and Rep. Keith Ellison’s “‘Solidarity Kugel,’ a vegetarian kugel garnished with red vegetables in the shape of a Venus symbol.”