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Outliers: Treadgate has senator breaking a sweat

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: March 30, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

What's more symbolic of strenuous exertion without progress than a treadmill?

The stationary exercise device was both a symbolic and literal target of attacks recently by a prominent Republican against the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the CMS.

It seems Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) heard that the new agency, which he knocked for not yet producing any of its expected recommendations to slow healthcare spending and improve quality, has bought an unspecified number of treadmill desks for $1,000 a pop. “In a post-sequester world where White House tours are being canceled and Easter egg hunts are being threatened, you can imagine why the American people would take a very cynical view about federal employees being furnished $1,000 treadmill desks,” Hatch said during a March 20 hearing.

An agency spokeswoman did not respond to a request for details on treadgate. But the agency drew at least one defense, albeit from someone with a bit of a conflict of interest—Steve Bordley, CEO of TrekDesk Treadmill Desk.

“Treadmill desks address one of our nation's largest health challenges: sedentary office environments,” Bordley said in a news release. “No magic pill from a pharmaceutical company or congressional measure improving health insurance can compete with the health benefits of getting Americans up and moving again.”

Somehow, Outliers can get only mildly exercised about the issue.

Hatch isn't happy about treadmill desks at CMS.
Photo credit: AP photo

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