This transcript is automatically generated
When there is smoke there could be firings and Oklahoma lawmaker wants to allow companies.
To fire smokers he says their health care costs are higher so -- bosses should be able to fire.
Republican state senator Steven holt is the lawmaker wet.
Senator and that this is controversy -- you know.
That you're gonna get a lot of backlash out of this does -- have any chance of making it to law.
Well you know -- little background on the free market conservative and Oklahoma.
Has a statute on the books that make smokers are protected class that is very rare we're talking about race gender national origin and smokers.
I think employers ought to have the ability to operate in the free market and this problem is compounded.
By obamacare because obamacare is coming in and as your viewers well know you know most employers are gonna have to provide health insurance moving forward.
And in Oklahoma are employers cannot make a decision about hiring.
Compensation or benefits based on whether that person smokes or not that is very rare in the United States is -- usual I think it's a testament to good lobbying more than it is a testament to good public policy I'd like to -- that.
Well certainly but does this say do you worry about frankly the constitutionality.
Of a proposal like this I mean you're gonna be charged with.
You know did not going is the US constitution immunity word about -- that'll happen.
No as a matter of fact I you're employed in New York I believe I'm pretty sure that you could be fired for smoking today that you could be fired -- riding a motorcycle having a tattoo -- being obese these are not things that law or the constitution protects your employers have.
The free market ability and should to make decisions based on their bottom line so no it certainly doesn't violate constitution.
-- how far is too far being you know you mentioned new York and yes I am a resident of new York and we have seen a lot of backlash against Mayor Bloomberg in this city.
-- because he is now a taxing soda he's taxing fatty foods all the calories have to be posted -- -- but he says it's for the greater good I know that you're saying this is for the greater good.
But what about that person that that takes a job and says I'm gonna quite I wanna quit a bit of work on -- -- -- -- the company to -- -- what about that individual.
Sure what you understand I'm coming from really opposite philosophical viewpoint on this -- Mayor Bloomberg what do I respect but it.
Kind of nanny state policies.
Are exactly what I'm trying to get away from here that Oklahoma is encouraging people to smoke through its law it shouldn't -- -- -- or encourage people really I just want the free market to rule.
And get everything out of it now you -- people want to quit that's great but honestly.
The way our laws written if -- company helps people by subsidizing their you know they're quick program.
That's breaking a lot to -- they're -- -- companies would break the law if they charge people different deductibles are different premiums I think that the common sense compromises.
When you know that smoking employees obviously cost more in health insurance.
Well you know what does that are I active site I know what companies human don't do when they're the easiest solution all this is just to not higher in the and -- had several CEOs come on to fox business -- tell -- I'm not going to hire because of the health care costs rising for my company I mean do you think this is something that we can stop at this point.
Well you know I think we can -- obviously the federal -- is what it is but on the state level we can try to ameliorate it by.
Dealing with things that compounded problems and and and here in Oklahoma the fact that smokers are protected class compounds the obamacare problem -- -- mandates are bad enough.
But when we punish ourselves here at the state level and make it to where employers can't make any decision based on their bottom line when it relates to smokers.
We're just we're just you know shooting ourselves in the foot.
State senator of Oklahoma David holt we -- gonna follow the story is they were all of this goes Oklahoma as a fiscally been very irresponsible we're gonna see what happens here thank you.