Health Care Reform Bills Contain $10 Billion UAW Health Care "Contribution"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

The Detroit Free Press reports there’s “a $10-billion provision tucked deep inside thousands of pages of health care overhaul bills that could help the UAW’s retiree health-care plan and other union-backed plans. It would see the government — at least temporarily — pay 80 cents on the dollar to corporate and union insurance plans for claims between $15,000 and $90,000 for retirees age 55 to 64.” So the union giveth: accepting stock in GM and Chrysler in place of future, theoretical contributions to their health care VEBA (in addition to $3 billion cash payments). And the union taketh: scarfing $10 billion in federal health care payments. Did the UAW know this was coming down the pike? As the hunter in Jurassic Park said just before the raptors tore him to pieces, “clever girl.” The autoblogosphere is alight with accusations of “union payoff.” And for good reason . . .

Outside experts estimate the [union VEBA] funds have about 30 cents in cash for every dollar of future claims, with no guarantee of what its stock assets will be worth. Lance Wallach, a New York-based VEBA expert, says if the funds “don’t get something, they’re out of business in 12 years.”

So to the taxpayer well we go. Repeatedly.

John Sheils, vice president of the Lewin Group, a health care research firm owned by a United Healthcare subsidiary, said the [temporary, public option bridging] money likely will run out in less than two years. Then, like with the recent cash-for-clunkers clamor, Congress could feel obligated to add money to the program.

“From a political perspective, I think it’s very, very difficult for the Congress to actually close down programs,” Sheils said. “This is something people could get used to very quickly.”

[Thanks to all for the link.]

Robert Farago
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  • Anonymous Anonymous on Aug 26, 2009

    psarhjinian mitchim Compassion! Look all mirrors have been removed from my house, but not for the reason of guilt. I just can't take the aging look. But I live comfortably in my self love and gratification. But this is TTAC, where we shout about excessiveness. As I explain in my discussions with my Christian friends, IF you TRULLY had compassion, if you TRULY felt the need to make life good and fair for the poor and would have but a fraction of your own possessions. What car do you drive? How many? How much money saved? Should you have any after giving it to the truly needy? You should in all consciousness have a small, economical everyday commuter. How many closets have you filled with more clothing and shoes than you can wear in a week? Why do you? Do you remember Sister Theresa? How many cars owned by this truly compassionate person? Here it is. IF you were the compassionate person you say you are there would be so little to your world the rest of the earth's inhabitants would be awash in its gifts. But you would rather feel good, to sleep at night knowing you made a contribution today at church. You took from me so you can give to others. This is your compassion. Not just give up your luxuries, but to make all of us part of your confession. Don't talk about compassion. You have no idea what it is. You only understand self riotousness. It doesn't belong on TTAC, where we brag and swim in decadence.

  • Mitchim Mitchim on Aug 27, 2009

    Wow has this gone south! my "POINT" was that responsibility has some to do with compassion but more to do with being socially responsible. Tax dollars spent on keeping your people healthy is not BAD. At the same time you have to beleave that MOST people are good about it. The bad folk have to deal with there ill conditions brought about themselves ex. Tobacco Taxes. As a smoker I am sure that I am paying in through here! If I had it my way I would pay for all my healthcare, build my own roads, and pay myself while I am unemployed ect... NOT GONA HAPPEN

  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.
  • The Oracle These are all over the roads in droves here in WNC. Rarely see one on the side of the road, they are wildly popular, capable, and reliable. There is a market for utilitarian vehicles.