June 21, 2012
Catholic leaders launched a nationwide campaign challenging the Obama administration's health policies with a Mass at Baltimore's Basilica of the Assumption on Thursday evening, filling the 200-year-old stone structure with supporters. The standing-room-only crowd stood and applauded when Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, leader of the Roman Catholic bishops' "Fortnight for Freedom" initiative, entered. A separate crowd of people outside, most of them Catholic, held signs protesting the event, one of which read, "Bishops!
February 8, 2012
Recently, Cardinal-designateEdwin F. O'Brienwrote a stirring letter to all those who worship in the Baltimore Archdiocese, calling on their help to "regain our religious freedom. " The impassioned call to arms suggests the federal government has dealt a "heavy blow" to Catholics and has "cast aside" the First Amendment. What could have so angered the 72-year-old soon-to-be advisor to the pope to justify his call for prayer and fasting until "religious liberty" is restored? Remarkably, it was the recent decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Servicesthat requires future health insurance policies, including those administered by religious hospitals and charities, to cover contraception and sterilization.
December 13, 2011
The League of American Bicyclists awarded a bronze Bicycle Friendly Business Award to Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, in North Laurel. APL was recognized for promoting employee health and social responsibility through its cycling club and cycling amenities. Some members of the APL cycling club commute daily and travel more than 24 miles each way.
November 26, 2011
Tower Federal Credit Union and Verizon Wireless, in North Laurel, received Innovations in Wellness awards from the Howard County Health Department's "Healthy Howard" program. The award recognized Tower's progressive "Wealth of Wellness" employee wellness program. Verizon Wireless earned the highest, gold level recognition from Healthy Howard, Inc. and was named among Howard County's healthiest workplaces for the third consecutive year. The Healthy Howard Initiative recognizes businesses that are committed to improving employee health and well-being.
November 1, 2009
If you don't have a wellness program yet at work, one likely will come your way soon. And if you do, count on your employer aggressively making sure you participate. Employers generally are still cutting benefits and shifting more health care costs onto you. But they are throwing more money into wellness programs, hoping you'll adopt a healthier lifestyle and that insurance costs will go down over time. "We have tried everything else. There is nothing left," says Sara Taylor with benefits consultant Hewitt Associates.
July 2, 2009
Four years ago, when Maryland legislators approved what became known as the Wal-Mart bill - a mandate that would have forced the retailing giant to either pay a minimum amount for employee health benefits or a hefty penalty to the state - it was derided by the company as both bad public policy and illegal. The latter objection proved to be true. It was thrown out by a federal appeals court as a violation of federal law that limits states' ability to regulate employee benefits. But the reasoning behind the proposal was sound: If companies are to compete on a level playing field, how can some be burdened with the obligation of providing increasingly expensive health care insurance while others are not?