Note the word "shedding"
GM looks at Goodyear plan in shedding retiree health liability
"If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without
bloodshed,if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not
too costly,you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with
all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival.There may
even be a worse case;you may have to fight when there is no hope of
victory,because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
Yep, sounds like a plan. Screw the retirees again. Let the bastards
live up to the contract and honor what they promised their retirees. I
wonder if I can change my contract with GMAC because I mismanaged my
money? Ya, right!
Jim Higgins wrote:
Looking beyond the GM retiree healthcare crisis, the healthcare industry,
itself, needs an enema. We need to train more DR's and nurses. Then the
price of healthcare would go way down and the quality of the healthcare
would go way up (less overworked doctors/nurses) which would save money
also in less misdiagnoses. Right now there's not enough capacity to train
dr's/nurses, so a ton of well qualified people are turned away from medical
schools. The competition for each spot in medical school is so tight, that
the difference in qualifications between those who get in and those who
don't is negligable at best. So the argument that "having few open spots
results in better doctors" doesn't really hold water.
These are the overarching problems with healthcare. People are always
talking about the rising costs of healthcare like there's no solution, but
there is. Hear about the rampant nursing shortage? At our local college,
there are only like 30 open spots per year in the nursing program, and like
200 people apply. They would let more students into the program, BUT they
don't have enough faculty. The wages for nursing instructors is about 30%
less than what they'd make actually being nurses rather than TEACHING
nursing. So if we paid more to the nursing instructors, we could then
train more nurses. It's all structural flaws in the system. Then it
snowballs into the current situation where healthcare is very expensive and
people are losing their benefits.
Yes, the Doctors need a different direction but so do the pill pushing
drug companies and hospitals and just about everything else to do with
the medical industry. Decent health care should written into the 'Bill
of Rights' and not left to chance.
I recently visited my doctors office.
It's a two-man practice, and,
they've got more overhead than a government agency.
Secretary, medical tech, insurance tech, nurse, office manager,
and several other "support people" scurrying around.
Add in the cost of the office, and his ( liability ) insurance
I can see why a "visit" costs to $80.
Years ago, doctors often worked from their homes.
Their wife was the nurse/secretary.
You visited, got treated, paid cash before leaving.
Those were simpler times.
When medical care was affordable.
If we had more doctors trained up and the system were revamped, then
things could go back (sort of) to those times. If more people could get
accepted into more medical schools, then this increase of DR's would
result in less hurried/hectic doctors, plus their pay wouldn't go much
down because there'd be less paperwork/malpractice ins. costs. Quality
of care would go way up.
One of my friends had gallbladder surgery, and the DR. cut some bile
ducts by accident (I can't remember exactly what mistake he made, but he
did make a mistake). But now, she faces a lifetime of severe pain,
operations, etc.. And she didn't get a PENNY from his malpractice
insurance, because his insurance co. had gone into bankruptcy due to a
few HUGE jury awards in other malpractice cases. So now she's on the
public dole -- medicaid, ssi, section 8, food stamps, etc.. And she's
The wide ranging healthcare system itself needs a huge revamping. It
goes way beyond things like GM not being able to afford retiree
I believe the hourly pension plan is covered under the UAW contract. To change
it, the union would have to agree, & I don't see this happening. I did read
that GM may turn the hourly retirees health care over to the union. That may,
or may not, be the same as dumping health care entirely.
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Retired Shop Rat: 14,647 days in a GM plant.
Now I can do what I enjoy: Large Format Photography
Web Site: www.destarr.com
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Normally, I'd say a deal is a deal and you should live up to it. What
happens though, if GM goes out of business and there is no money to pay for
any health care, versus paying for a reduced benefit? Is partial benefit
better than no benefit?
I don't know if anyone has the right answer to all of this. Everyone should
have access to health care. How do we resolve who pays, how much it should
cost, etc? .
GM and the Union may have had good intentions when the contract was written,
but sadly, times have changed. Should present workers be laid off to pay
for your benefits? Should you, as a union member, be willing to work for
the benefit of ALL the members and compromise?
It is not just the auto worker, it is anyone in manufacturing in the US that
is in trouble right now. Everyone in Washington is out for themselves,
corporate greed, in many cases, is taking the life blood out of companies,
de-regulation to cut utility cost has caused it to rise, and we let our
schools go to crap so there will be little foundation left.
Best advice I can give is for your children and grandchildren to learn to
I know my retirement was self inflected and I was one of the herd that
took a 30 and out, retired at 49, with the assumption that the
contract I retired under would be honored. One thing for sure is that
the UAW does NOT represent retirees after retirement. They represent
active employees only.
Regarding the partial benefit, thats fine as long as it stays constant
but I can see it getting less and less until it's a non benefit. If
GM /UAW want to save money get rid of the stupid "Legal Services" or
"Dependant Scholarship" or the retiree tuition refund program. I
figure GM, Ford, and all the other large corps. in this country could
control the health industry if they formed a control group along with
our federal government to dictate health care costs. Yes it does need
to be controlled by OUR government as does energy( gas, oil,
electricity and even telecommunications).
Our national leaders need to get off the 'Home Security" joke and get
on with the needs of the masses. Let them get off the Ronald Rayguns
line of thought of less government control and take control of the
things that affect the citizenery of this great country. Don't worry
about passports for Canada and Mexico border crossing, don't worry
about the great wall of the southwest but worry about the lack of
control of health care or the price of a gallon of gas or overbearing
credit card companies or the ARM mortgages that are suddenly
upsidedown. Foreclosures are suddenly at such a high level the lenders
are worried sick. What a joke that is or more like a bad dream. I sure
miss that fellow from Arkansas. He was a liar and cheated on his wife
but governed for the people.
Well enough venting for now.
I can't say a lot because I don't even know you, but just in general, I have
a problem with a guy retiring at 49 years of age and then complaining
because a stupid-good deal is too expensive to keep up indefinitely. I
understand the contract point, but those types of contracts are the biggest
part of what has turned this matter into the issue that it is. UAW
contracts have long been ridiculous and I have to wonder how any UAW worker
could ever have thought those kinds of benefits could last forever. The
hell with the cost - just give me what I want. Both the UAW and the motor
companies were stupid to sign such contracts, and not expect that there
would not be an endless supply of money to support them. Those who whine
about it today only continue that stupidity.
I whined about a lot of things in that post. The biggest part of the
problem is not UAW workers or the UAW itself but The Big Three for
signing such a contract. They agreed to it but never had a clue how to
pay for it. How am I going to know if the brain trust in Detroit knows
what they are doing. Mike, ever work in an auto plant? I did for 31
years. Enjoyed almost every bit of it too. Raised a family on some
really good wages and benefits. Now it seems time to enjoy other
things in life, and I will with or without GM or the UAW. Find other
employment? Sure. I've retired twice more since leaving GM
Oh ya, the "stupid good deal" still is part of the GM/UAW national
This begs the question, should any company or business take care of you for
life after working for them for 30 years? Given the life expectancy of us
today, even 65 on Social Security is probably asking too much. If you join
a company at 20, work for 30 years, you may still be drawing from them for
another 30 years. That sure seems to be a high price to pay for many years.
Well - I believe the fault like equally with the UAW, its rank and file, and
with the Big Three. Short-sightedness on everyone's behalf. I don't blame
anyone for going for the gusto when times are good, but when those good
times get bled out by excess benefits and executive compensation abuse, then
everyone has to face the music - pretty much all I was getting around to in
my first reply.
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