Unless I am misreading this (and that is entirely possible, as this is not a subject I have not followed), this sure seems like a good deal for businesses:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Wednesday that employers could reduce or eliminate health benefits for retirees when they turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare.
The policy, set forth in a new regulation, allows employers to establish two classes of retirees, with more comprehensive benefits for those under 65 and more limited benefits — or none at all — for those older.
More than 10 million retirees rely on employer-sponsored health plans as a primary source of coverage or as a supplement to Medicare, and Naomi C. Earp, the commission’s chairwoman, said, “This rule will help employers continue to voluntarily provide and maintain these critically important health benefits.”
Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of 6.1 percent this year and have increased 78 percent since 2001, according to surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Because of the rising cost of health care and the increased life expectancy of workers, the commission said, many employers refuse to provide retiree health benefits or even to negotiate on the issue.
I understand the reasoning for this- they are trying to find ways to keep the most people covered possible during a time of rising health costs, and pushing those over the age of 65 off on the government (translation: you and me) allows them to spend resources on those still working for them and those who can’t be pushed off on the government.
This is just another piece of evidence to me that we will be moving to single-payer in the next decade or so, simply because big business wants this (and would argue they need it) in order to survive. And we will end up dragging Red State and NRO along as they scream “socialized medicine” the whole way. At this point, it almost has a feel of inevitability about it. I don’t wonder if we will have single-payer, I wonder how bad our special interest groups will manage to screw up the implementation.