Archive for the tag 'Deere'

Hot Links: Healthcare, Health Insurance & Medicare

Kurt Brouwer October 5th, 2007

The Federal government and private industries such as General Motors and John Deere & Co. are grappling with what to do about spiraling costs for healthcare and health insurance. Here are short snippets from longer articles on this issue:

Means Test Sought for Medicare Drug Plan (Jonathan Weisman, 10/05/07, Washington Post)

The Bush administration is advancing a proposal to levy higher premiums and deductibles on upper-income seniors enrolled in Medicare’s new prescription drug benefit, raising fees on beneficiaries with incomes over about $80,000 a year, administration officials said yesterday.The administration is working with Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) to attach to upcoming legislation a “means testing” provision that would save the government billions of dollars. In the past, however, similar proposals have been blocked by the furious response of seniors.

“You say it saves money and these people can afford it, but it also eats away at the incomes of seniors. It erodes their sense of the reliability on these federal programs, and it certainly erodes political support,” said John Rother, policy director for AARP, the powerful senior lobby.

The GM-UAW Contract: Pace Car for the U.S.? (October 1, 2020, Christian Science Monitor)

Detroit’s autumn tradition of unveiling new car models has gone the way of fin wings and chrome grills. This fall, however, GM and the UAW did roll out a new model for the American economy. Their proposed contract signals a new urgency in the US to step up to global competitors.

Concessions by both General Motors and the United Auto Workers were both huge and atypical, possibly setting new and healthy directions for unions, industry, and the healthcare debate…

…For the UAW, the task ahead is to run a new type of healthcare enterprise, called a “voluntary employee beneficiary association”(VEBA). GM’s initial contribution of $30 billion to VEBA will keep it going for a while. But some VEBAs in other industries have failed. The UAW must show that a consumer-driven healthcare system can work by restraining costs, such as providing incentives for preventive healthcare.

Any success with this type of private healthcare could alter the debate over government versus private systems. The current dispute over increased federal funding for children’s health in Washington would take the US further toward government-run care. But major Democratic presidential candidates have shifted to emphasizing private systems.

Deere Retirees Face Healthcare Choice (Jennifer DeWitt, October 4, 2020, Quad-City Times)

A change in health-care benefits announced for some Deere & Co. retirees will require they be more involved in the decision-making on their coverage, company officials said Monday.

Two weeks ago, the Moline manufacturer announced it was changing the health-care benefit programs for nearly 5,000 of the company’s 28,000 U.S. retirees and their dependents. The company began hosting a series of meetings with retirees Monday to educate them on the changes, which take effect Jan. 1.

In a conference call with reporters Monday, Glenn Huston, the company’s employee benefits manager, said the new program changes how benefits will be delivered to the retirees. While Deere’s financial support will be comparable, he said the new program changes how coverage is purchased.

One of the biggest changes is that retirees now will have to enroll for health coverage with a third-party insurer and “tailor coverage they elect to their own individual situations,” he said. “They will no longer sign up through John Deere, but John Deere will be providing them with support.”

We really do not know how all this will work out. However, we do know that lots of attempts are being made to find solutions to the dilemma faced by both government and industry when it comes to funding the health insurance needs of retirees.