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Originally published Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 5:05 PM

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Wash. Senate seeks incentives for worker wellness

The Washington state Senate wants to use financial incentives or penalties to encourage employees to meet wellness goals.

The Associated Press

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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

The Washington state Senate wants to use financial incentives or penalties to encourage employees to meet wellness goals.

A proposal approved Wednesday would require all health care plans for state employees to include a wellness program. The program would include financial incentives, including the possibility of higher premiums for those who don't meet wellness targets.

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom says it is a way for the state to combat expensive health issues such as obesity or smoking. Other Democrats disliked the idea of using a mandate to encourage wellness.

The measure passed by a 28-21 margin and now goes to the state House.

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