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DeWine Announces New Wellness Initiative To Cut Healthcare Costs

Republican candidate for governor Mike DeWine and his running mate Jon Husted announced a new wellness initiative at a campaign event on Tuesday. The proposed plan would first roll out for all state employees, then eventually for people on Medicaid.

"We have to prevent chronic healthcare problems before they take place," DeWine said. "Our goal is to get Ohio healthy, to prevent chronic disease from developing, and to help Ohioans take control of their health by meeting goals and benchmarks."

The plan is based on a Cleveland Clinic program designed to improve the health of its employees, which according to the Clinic has seen success in saving $254 million in medical costs in the last three years. DeWine and Husted touted the statewide wellness proposal as a way to cut healthcare costs.

"The cost of healthcare is unsustainable for all of us," Husted said. "And you have to have a plan to help people get healthier if you're ultimately going to drive down costs. That was the Cleveland Clinic experience. It is proven, it is tested, and we will do this in state government and beyond."

The initiative focuses on prevention of chronic disease by helping participants reach healthy levels of blood pressure, body mass index, and cholesterol. The campaign could not provide details of how it would achieve these goals.

Critics of workplace wellness programs say they raise privacy issues and some punish employees who don’t participate.

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