Oh, No! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!Only real dum Dave, Lily, Sonicfilth really knows whats going on in politics,economics, healthcare, but ask them what they are educated in where they went to school how many books they have written the matters that they are experts and you will hear crickets In contrast to Western Europe, Canada, Australia and other industrialized capitalist countries, where health care was sponsored by the state, in the US employer-sponsored insurance became the norm in the years after World War II. The years 1940 to 1960 saw a seven-fold increase in the number of people enrolled in such health plans. By 1958, three-quarters of all Americans had some form of health coverage.
The extension of health coverage by employers was a gain won by the working class in the course of bitter struggles. The fact that it is being gutted is yet another expression of the betrayal of the working class by the trade unions and the transformation of these organizations into de facto arms of the corporations and the government.
Cities and states across the US are considering moving their retirees, and in some cases their active employees, off of city-funded benefits. Neil Bomberg, program director at the National League of Cities, said in an interview with Bloomberg News,Cities and towns will be looking at ways to reduce those costs, and the exchanges may provide a very viable mechanism. The state of Washington is considering dumping its entire active workforce onto the Obamacare exchanges.
Bankrupt Stockton, California ended subsidized coverage for its retirees on June 30. The Association of Retired Employees of the City of Stockton estimates that as many as 300 of these retired workers will not purchase coverage through the ACA because they will not qualify for subsidies or will be unable to afford the premiums.
Major companies including IBM, Time Warner, Caterpillar and DuPont have already shifted their retirees off of company-administered health care plans and into privately run health care exchanges. Such exchanges, managed by private companies such as Extend Health, are basically the same as those set up under the ACAbut with a company stipend instead of a government subsidy.
Companies such as Sears Holding Corp. and Darden Restaurants have moved their active employees to these private exchanges. Health consultant Accenture predicts that this private insurance exchange market will undergo an astronomical growth in the not-to-distant future, rising from about 1 million this year to 40 million by 2018. This means that nearly a quarter of the 170 million people presently enrolled in company-sponsored plans will be dumped by their employer onto these private exchanges over the next five years.
The changes being imposed on retirees health benefits in Chicago and Detroit serve as a warning that the political establishment is seizing on the economic crisis, and the claims of underfunded and unsecured pension and health care obligations, to implement deep-going changes that threaten to plunge large numbers of workers and retirees into poverty. It is no coincidence that these attacks are being carried out in major cities run by Democrats with long-standing connections to Obama.
Employers who choose a private health exchange specifically designed for large employers that offer group health insurance policies is not a bad thing.