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Republicans, Democrats Team Up For Workplace Wellness

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota Democrats and Republicans are joining forces to focus on workplace wellness.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Republican Congressman Erik Paulson are announcing the creation of a congressional workplace caucus.

“We’re focusing on best practices,” said Klobuchar. “There’s no other state that has as good practices as Minnesota.”

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

Klobuchar said companies that offer wellness program see a 25 percent reduction in sick leave and health plan cost.

“Obviously it’s good for workers and employees, but it’s also good for companies because they save money on the bottom line,” said Klobuchar.

Paulsen and Klobuchar will introduce the caucus in the House and Senate. They will invite members of Congress to join them. They hope members will jump on board to educate small businesses on the value of employer wellness programs.

“About 70 percent of health care cost goes to high, chronic disease management,” said Paulsen. “Heart disease, diabetes — and these are preventable illnesses.”

They rolled out the program at Apogee Enterprises in Bloomington. Apogee started implementing health place initiatives in 2008 and employees have been getting healthier by offering them incentives.

“We found this to be one of the best ways to prevent illness from happening,” said Klobuchar.

Klobuchar said she’s behind this push because they’re trying to reduce health care cost across the nation.

The companies sponsoring caucus are Cargill, General Mills, Blue Cross, Medica, Medtronic, Target, United Health Care and Midwest Dairy Association. They’re part of the Alliance for Healthier Minnesota.

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