“Let Us Now Try Liberty”: Freeing the Private Sector to Tackle North Carolina’s Tobacco Addiction by Reinstating Employment Freedom of Contract

BY James Ruffin Lawrence, III

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (“Scotts”), a lawn and garden care products company, had a multi-million dollar problem. It is a familiar problem facing businesses across North Carolina and America: how to contain the costs of providing health insurance to employees. Over a four-year period, Scotts’s executive team looked on helplessly as the company’s annual health care bill ballooned by forty-two percent to a total of $20 million in 2003. Facing another twenty percent annual rate hike, Jim Hagedorn, CEO of the Marysville, Ohio-based corporation, set out on an ambitious, uncharted course. With approval from Scotts’s Board of Directors, Hagedorn declared war on health care spending by implementing one of the most controversial health and wellness programs in America. The primary objective in this campaign: rid Scotts of the health care costs associated with tobacco dependency and obesity by empowering workers to make better health care decisions.

DOWNLOAD PDF | 90 N.C. L. Rev.510 (2012)