Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Uncle Sam to Dole Out $5 Billion for Retiree Health

Health reform provided $5 billion for early retiree health care and it announced recipients of this aid. They include a mix of corporations, unions, municipalities, health insurers, hospitals and foundations.

Fourteen BlueCross/BlueShield plans made the list.

  • "Blue Cross & Blue Shield of MA, Inc."
  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi
  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode lsland
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
  • "Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Inc."
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming
  • "Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
  • CareFirst Inc.--BlueCross BlueShield of Maryland
  • Premera BlueCross

Healthcare organizations getting assistance include:

Abbott Labs
Boston Scientific
Christiana Care Health Systems (Delaware)
CHS Inc.
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Eli Lilly
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan
Medco Health Solutions
Permanente Medical Group
Siemens Corp
Varian Medical Systems

Other recognizable names include:

A.T. Massey Coal
CBS Corporation
Dow Jones & Company
Duke Energy
Exelon Corporation
Federal Express
General Dynamics
General Electric
General Motors
H.J. Heinz Company
Harris Corporation
Hewitt Associates
Jim Beam Brands
Kellogg Company
Koch Industries
Lear Corporation
L'Oreal USA
Lorillard Tobacco
Marathon Oil
Marsh & McLennan
Mercedes Benz
Mutual of Omaha Insurance
New York Times Company
Northrop Gruman
NYSE Group
President and Fellows of Harvard College
Putnam Investments
Rio Tinto America
Sara Lee
Shell Oil
Southwest Airlines
Sprint Nextel
Sun Life
Texas Instruments
The Boeing Company
The Coca Cola Company
The Dow Chemical Company
The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation
The Hartford Fire Insurance Company
The Hershey Company
The Hertz Corporation
The North American Coal Corporation
The PNC Financial Services Group
The Proctor & Gamble Company
The Prudential Insurance Company
The Travelers Companies
The Turner Corporation
The Walt Disney Company
The Washington Post Company
The Williams Companies
Thomson Reuters
Tiffany & Company
Tribune Company
Tupperware Brands
Tyson Foods
U.S. Bancorp
Union Bank
United Airlines
US Airways
Valero Energy
Volvo Group
W.R. Grace
Wells Fargo
YUM Brands
Zachry Holdings

I didn't list the plethora of unions on the approved list. While the amount funded was half the original bill's $10 billion, I stand by my former comments:

Why the giveaway to those currently providing coverage? Corporations and unions provide huge campaign donations. Corporations want to dump that pesky health insurance benefit, while unions want to pick it up (become the negotiator for employee paid health insurance).

I thought health care reform was to cover the uninsured and bend the cost curve. This subsidy is another federal giveaway, benefiting the usual suspects.

That's quite a list of suspects. Signs point to help for those who have, while major assistance for the have not's will arrive in 2014.

Update: Workers continue to bear more of their health care and insurance coverage costs.

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