Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wall Street Journal Report: Up to 23,000 retirees to lose healthcare coverage

The Wall Street Journal isn’t making many friends at Health and Human Services or the White House: in a week’s time, they’ve dropped two bombshells regarding the impacts of Obamacare.  Last week was the revelation that McDonald’s would likely drop its Mini-Med plans due to the new law’s cost ratio requirements.

This week, another shoe drops.  3M says it would be forced to stop offering health insurance plans to its retirees.

image The St. Paul, Minn., manufacturing conglomerate notified employees on Friday that it would change retiree benefits both for those who are too young to qualify for Medicare and for those who qualify for the Medicare program. Both groups will get an unspecified health reimbursement instead of having access to a company-sponsored health plan.

The maker of Post-it notes and Scotch tape said it made the announcement now to give retirees a chance to explore different options during this year's benefit-enrollment period, according to a 3M memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. A 3M spokeswoman, Jacqueline Berry, confirmed the contents of the memo.

"As you know, the recently enacted health care reform law has fundamentally changed the health care insurance market," the memo said. "Health care options in the marketplace have improved, and readily available individual insurance plans in the Medicare marketplace provide benefits more tailored to retirees' personal needs often at lower costs than what they pay for retiree medical coverage through 3M.

"In addition, health care reform has made it more difficult for employers like 3M to provide a plan that will remain competitive."

This is not 3M’s first major announcement regarding Obamacare.  In the days following the passage and signing of the law, dozens of publicly traded companies were forced by accounting and SEC rules to announce charges on quarterly earnings because of the tax implications the law imposed. 

3M was forced to announce a $90 million charge against earnings because accounting rules require them to disclose information that could negatively affect earnings in the fiscal quarter they learn about them.  Remember—Obamacare was supposed to “bend the cost curve” down.  Instead, it has already cost US companies billions of dollars in earnings and there is certainly much more of that in store.

This week’s story demonstrates another falsehood used to foist this abomination on the American people:  “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it.”

No wonder Democrats are running as far away from Obama and Obamacare as they can get.