Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's the End of the World As We Know It

"It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine."


The rising cost of healthcare is now taking its toll:
But GM's announcement Tuesday that it would cease medical coverage for its salaried retirees age 65 and above signals that a new era of ever-shrinking benefits has arrived. Beginning in January, even former employees who are already in retirement will lose their benefits, which most of the company's retirees use to supplement gaps in their traditional Medicare coverage. The auto maker will boost monthly pension payouts to help offset the cuts. The company's unionized workers aren't affected by the cut to retiree health benefits.

GM isn't the first company to do this, but its heft and influence could help usher in further cutbacks at other companies.
The ripple effect will soon be felt far and wide, as other large companies, saddled with declining bottom lines, will follow suit.

And Congress, in their ever-deflecting manner, will eventually have to come to their senses and scrap the Medicare reimbursement mechanism as it exists today.

But after deflecting the issue yet again, at least they won't have to worry about this for another 18 months.


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