U.S. House to Fund Memberships for Staff, But Only to One Fitness Company

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Other Companies, and Even Makers of Fitness Monitors, Should Demand Equality

WASHINGTON - eTradeWire -- The U.S. House of Representatives is preparing to announce that it will fund memberships to Peloton for all House staff members and police.

The contract cost is a $10,000 upfront payment to Peloton, plus an extra $10 per month charge for each staffer or officer that utilizes the benefit.

For most American taxpayers, a Peloton All-Access Membership costs $39 per month, and a Peloton App Membership costs $12.99 per month.

But it seems grossly unfair and even discriminatory to provide an important health and fitness benefit to only one company - interestingly, a company which happens to be experiencing financial difficulties - and not provide a similar benefit to companies such an Tonal which offer competing  products which may be just as effective in helping to keep users fit and healthy, and thereby reduce health care costs and absenteeism.

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Whether the goal is simply to help keep employees healthy so they will have fewer medical costs and days lost from work, or as an incentive to take up or remain employed by the federal government, employees should be able to chose an alternative fitness program or company which better meets their particular needs, unless Peloton has been proven to be substantially superior to all others, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

There are many fitness programs available which probably offer comparable health and fitness benefits, and some may be better, easier, more desirable, easier to stick with, etc. than Peloton.

Thus House staffers and police should be able to select that which best suits them, and to obtain comparable financial support for their choice, says Banzhaf.

The professor has successfully sued and/or petitioned the federal government to take other actions benefiting the public health: e.g., tax deductions for smoking-withdrawal expenses, a 50% surcharge on smokers under Obamacare, nutritional disclosures on foods, higher health insurance rates for obese Americans, and corrected warnings on birth control pills, etc.

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Banzhaf notes that some smart watches and fitness trackers also claim to be effective in encouraging users to remain healthier by getting more exercise.  Moreover, they offer the advantage of being able to prove to an employer exactly how much exercise a user is getting on a regular basis.

So perhaps House staffers and police who wish to purchase such devices should be eligible for a comparable financial benefit, especially if they can demonstrate through the device's metrics that they are in fact getting additional exercise, argues Banzhaf.

http://banzhaf.net/   jbanzhaf3ATgmail.com   @profbanzhaf


Source: Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
Filed Under: Fitness

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