3M to dump retirees from medical coverage

posted at 10:55 am on October 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Remember when Barack Obama repeatedly promised that no one’s current coverage would have to change if Congress approved the health-care overhaul he demanded?  When the ObamaCare bill passed, the Associated Press suddenly discovered that the change of tax law that would supposedly generate billions of dollars to pay for the costs of the bill would also drive companies to dump retirees from their existing drug coverage and push them into Medicare.  Minnesota-based 3M became one of the first large corporations to do just that — and push retirees off of all their plans as well:

3M Co., citing new federal health laws, said Monday it won’t cover retirees with its corporate health-insurance plan starting in 2013.

Instead, the company will direct retirees to Medicare-backed insurance programs, and will provide reimbursement for that coverage. It’ll also reimburse retirees who are too young for Medicare; the company didn’t provide further details.

The company made the changes known in a memo to employees Friday; news of the move was reported in The Wall Street Journal and confirmed Monday by 3M spokeswoman Jackie Berry.

The ObamaCare bill created a fund to subsidize employers who didn’t dump their retirees, but the WSJ notes that it simply wasn’t enough to change the negative incentives created by the government interventions:

The changes won’t start to phase in until 2013. But they show how companies are beginning to respond to the new law, which should make it easier for people in their 50s and early-60s to find affordable policies on their own. While thousands of employers are tapping new funds from the law to keep retiree plans, 3M illustrates that others may not opt to retain such plans over the next few years. …

Democrats that crafted the legislation say they tried to incentivize companies to keep their retiree coverage intact, especially until 2014. The law creates a $5 billion fund for employers and unions to offset the cost of retiree health benefits. More than 2,000 entities, including many large public companies, have already been approved to submit claims for such reimbursement. 3M did not apply.

How did Democrats come up with the $5 billion figure for subsidies to protect retirees from losing their plans?  From the looks of it, they simply made it up.  They also didn’t do much calculation to determine whether the subsidies would actually incentivize employers into rejecting this strategy for cost savings.  To some extent, they may not have been able to make that calculation, because thanks to the massive amount of ambiguity in the bill, no one can really say for sure what the future costs would be.  And of course, that’s why 3M chose now to dump the retirees.

3m has 23,000 retirees, many of them likely to be living in Minnesota.  They’re also likely to vote in the upcoming midterms, perhaps even more likely now than ever.  That won’t be good news for House Democrats in the Minnesota delegation hoping to win a new term in four weeks.


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If ObamaCare was such a great program, why would you even need to offer incentives?

tballard on October 5, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Why should I accept any money from the Government when doing so enables them to drive me into bankruptcy?

unclesmrgol on October 5, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Sadly, exactly as the Democrats planned: Deliberately sabotage the medical market, then claim at a later date–in possibly the most cynical rhetorical move in the history of American politcs– that “the free market failed.” They’ve learned at least some lessons of the sub-prime crisis all too well–just not the constructive ones. As Democrat Jan Schakowsky once boasted: “This is not a principled fight.”

Blacklake on October 5, 2010 at 12:26 PM

FTA “But they show how companies are beginning to respond to the new law, which should make it easier for people in their 50s and early-60s to find affordable policies on their own.”

The part I boldfaced makes no sense. The individual market is imploding, isn’t it?

BuckeyeSam on October 5, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Exactly my question. That makes no sense at all. Sounds like spin from the progressive thugs.

slickwillie2001 on October 5, 2010 at 12:26 PM

These can and(if they become prevalent enough) will be challenged by Senior advocacy groups. In the end though and no matter the outcome, be sure that if companies adopt this en masse that there will be repercussions–political, economic and tax wise…and few will be good. Perhaps a very, very slow phase in might work, but this does not show signs of being one. This sounds like passinfg the buck–period.

jeanie on October 5, 2010 at 12:27 PM

I’m fine with ObamaCare. I think US Business have generally just failed to step up to their responsibilities. They started giving employee health insurance in the 1940s and were then never able to find a way out of their predicament when costs started to skyrocket in the 80s.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 12:03 PM

And how now businesses are dumping their “responsibilities” ON THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER YOU MORON.

Chuck Schick on October 5, 2010 at 12:27 PM

And how now businesses are dumping their “responsibilities” ON THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER YOU MORON.

Chuck Schick on October 5, 2010 at 12:27 PM

That is Jimbo’s dream dontchaknow. He want’s everyone under the thumb of an all powerful govt.

Sounds like a bit of Stalinist heaven. Jimbo style.

Inanemergencydial on October 5, 2010 at 12:30 PM

The subsidy was reduced this year when Obamacare passed–my understanding is that companies now must reduce their deduction by the amount of the tax free subsidy paid for by the government.

So if I’m understanding correctly, the rebate essentially replaces the subsidy?

But then why wouldn’t 3M take advantage of the rebate program and keep providing coverage to retirees?

Missy on October 5, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Chuck Schick on October 5, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Don’t forget all the Americans in the Insurance Industry and Healthcarfe Industry who have lost jobs already because of Obamacare

kingsjester on October 5, 2010 at 12:32 PM

So if I’m understanding correctly, the rebate essentially replaces the subsidy?

But then why wouldn’t 3M take advantage of the rebate program and keep providing coverage to retirees?

Missy on October 5, 2010 at 12:30 PM

It’s not as good of a deal now because the tax advantages have been cut back. The subsidy also only applies to prescription drug coverage, although other subsidies were available. My guess is that 3M decided they didn’t want to continue providing this when other options were realistically available.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 12:35 PM

That is Jimbo’s dream dontchaknow. He want’s everyone under the thumb of an all powerful govt.

Sounds like a bit of Stalinist heaven. Jimbo style.

Inanemergencydial on October 5, 2010 at 12:30 PM

You do understand that the government will not be providing insurance, right? It’ll be the exchanges.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM

You do understand that the government will not be providing insurance, right? It’ll be the exchanges.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Oh, just the highly regulated pay to play “privately owned” democrat donating companies?

Ok then you favor syndicalism.

Cheerio.

Inanemergencydial on October 5, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Courtesy of the Star Tribune:

“Health care options in the market under the health care reform law became better,” said spokeswoman Jackie Berry, adding that taking retirees off the 3M group plan would save money for both 3M and retirees.

The move is part of a longer-term trend by employers to get a grip on the ballooning costs of retiree benefits. Most employers already have done away with the rich pension plans of the past and switched to 401(k) plans, under which they limit their exposure to future costs.

3M may be one of the first large employers to take this step in response to health reform, but it’s not likely to be the last.

“I suspect they’re ahead of the game in terms of arriving at this decision,” said Henry Van Dellen, who heads the health and benefits practice at Aon Consulting. “Practically speaking, this likely will happen with a lot of employers.”
…The company has about 23,000 U.S. retirees. Berry couldn’t say how many would be affected by the change, nor could she say how much retirees might expect to save

kingsjester on October 5, 2010 at 12:42 PM

You do understand that the government will not be providing insurance, right? It’ll be the exchanges.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Subsidized by a thoroughly broke government.

And over half the 33 million projected newly insured under ObamaCare are just Obama throwing them onto Medicaid. Also thoroughly broke.

Praise yourself now Jimbo, but we know you’ll be nowhere to be found when the bill comes. You people are absolutely despicable.

Chuck Schick on October 5, 2010 at 12:47 PM

The defense of 3M and it’s reasoning(as provided by Jimbo)will most certainly be those of all the other companies that follow suit. But, call it what you like, spin it as you will, it will still end up in the laps of the taxpayer. It is still companies neatly finding ways to avoid obligations they took on and have a duty to fulfill and are copping out on. That’s the bottom line and the unvarnished truth no matter how adroitly disguised. Listen up: those seniors and soon to be seniors who cannot afford plans, exchanges or supplements will fall to Medicaid and that’s a fact–like it or not…and there will be many, many.

jeanie on October 5, 2010 at 12:48 PM

You do understand that the government will not be providing insurance, right? It’ll be the exchanges.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM

The same way I understand the government doesn’t sell cars. It just tells the car companies what kind of car they can sell.

Oh wait…the governemnt does sell cars…..my mistake.

BobMbx on October 5, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Abot those exchanges, per Heritage.org.

Under Section 1311 of the bill, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services would be required to provide states grants for the establishment of American Health Benefit Exchanges, and by 2014 states would be required to establish these exchanges for the purchase of “qualified” health plans. Such plans would only be qualified if they met federal rules governing benefit packages, provider networks, “essential community providers”, quality standards and measures uniformity of enrollment procedures, the right kind of rating system, outreach, reinsurance and risk adjustment, and a variety of other federally determined processes under federal supervision. States would be able to require the qualified health plans to offer additional benefits and make the health plans more expensive, if they wished to do so, but they could not allow benefit changes that differed from the standards set by the federal government. As for the administration of the new federally required exchanges, they are required to be “self-sustaining”, and may impose assessment or fees on health plans and enrollees to secure the coverage of those administrative costs.

kingsjester on October 5, 2010 at 12:52 PM

The same way I understand the government doesn’t sell cars. It just tells the car companies what kind of car they can sell.

Oh wait…the governemnt does sell cars…..my mistake.

BobMbx on October 5, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Great illustration…of course the Stalinist internet lawyer has no problem with that either. After all he knows what is best for you and your family.

Inanemergencydial on October 5, 2010 at 12:55 PM

I’m fine with ObamaCare. I think US Business have generally just failed to step up to their responsibilities. They started giving employee health insurance in the 1940s and were then never able to find a way out of their predicament when costs started to skyrocket in the 80s.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Ok, so you dont know much about history!

Companies start offering H/C benies because of a gov’t wage freeze during WWII.

So, with that fact in hand, what can we learn? Poor gov’t policy leads to more poor gov’t policy to correct for the poor policy in the first place.

EliTheBean on October 5, 2010 at 1:02 PM

The collapse of the Health Insurance Industry was the main intent on the passing by the democrat party of Obamacare. This group in Washington does not care one iota about the American People, young and old. Obama’s agenda is to destroy the US and the democrat party and the media is on board and endorses that agenda. Obama and his party wants to turn the US into a Communist Nation. The rally that was held this past week-end in Washington which by the way, Obama endorsed and supported was nothing but a gathering of socialists and Communists. At times, I wonder if Obama has a hot line to the office of Hugo Chavez. 3M’s action is just the start. They will be many more companies dropping Health Care not only for the retiree’s but also for the employees in the coming months.

flintstone on October 5, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Time to start calling and e-mailing pols, no matter their Party, and nip this sort of thing in the bud before it spreads to the point of no return. Use 3M as the tip of the iceberg–because they certainly are.

jeanie on October 5, 2010 at 1:03 PM

I’m fine with ObamaCare. I think US Business have generally

just failed to step up to their responsibilities. They started giving employee health insurance in the 1940s and were then never able to find a way out of their predicament when costs started to skyrocket in the 80s.
Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 12:03 PM

And when we can no longer pay for it, how many people will this wonderful program help?

Chip on October 5, 2010 at 1:06 PM

If ObamaCare was such a great program, why would you even need to offer incentives?

tballard on October 5, 2010 at 12:23 PM

If ObamaCare was such a great program, why would you even need to offer incentives did Congress opt out?\

FIFY!

belad on October 5, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Nothing new here-My retired salary GM worker was kicked out oh his healthcare plan when he turned 65. As a spouse I am to be kicked off this Nov as I turn 65. GM does give some money to us to cover supplementals/drugs we need.Not enough to cover all but it does heop But I dont count on that to go on forever.

Bullhead on October 5, 2010 at 1:13 PM

This affects my in-laws. Fortunately they will be available for Medicare once the coverage drops. But who knows what will happen to Medicare.

closetgop on October 5, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Ooops! Bad formatting. That should be:

I’m fine with ObamaCare. I think US Business have generally
just failed to step up to their responsibilities. They started giving employee health insurance in the 1940s and were then never able to find a way out of their predicament when costs started to skyrocket in the 80s.
Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 12:03 PM

And when we can no longer pay for it, how many people will this wonderful program help?
Chip on October 5, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Chip on October 5, 2010 at 1:25 PM

This affects my in-laws. Fortunately they will be available for Medicare once the coverage drops. But who knows what will happen to Medicare.

closetgop on October 5, 2010 at 1:19 PM

What do you mean, ‘Who knows what will happen to Medicare?’ Everyone with any sense and the ability to do math knows what will happen to Medicare.

j_galt on October 5, 2010 at 1:35 PM

If you like your sticky notes, you can keep them.

SlaveDog on October 5, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Wouldn’t you like to put some sticky notes on ODumbo’s forehead?

onlineanalyst on October 5, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Chip’s fine with ObamaCare! Get him!

Chuck Schick on October 5, 2010 at 1:43 PM

How did Democrats come up with the $5 billion figure for subsidies to protect retirees from losing their plans?

22 year old staffers between beer pong games?

The Democrats are hopelessly lazy, incompetent and irresponsible, as usual.

NoDonkey on October 5, 2010 at 1:44 PM

I’m sure that all of these new individuals going to Medicare will not cause costs to rise for the federal gov’t. And, I’m sure that providers will continue to want to treat all of these medicare patients for the low reimbursement rates.

this is sure to “bend the cost” downward and “let everyone keep their current coverage” and “let everyone keep their current doctor” as the left and Obama promised.

I’m sure Jimbo3 is “fine” with Obamacare and all the lies that were told to the american people to get it passed. that is the only way leftists can get elected or pass anything – lie completely about their intentions and what the consequences will be.

It is somewhat sick that people who claim to be rational and interested in teh good of america have no problem with the unfettered lying they must do to achieve thier ends. But, I guess they figure that on the road to pure socialism (or, to further their lying “progressivism”), some eggs must be broken. It is, after all, for the common good. All means to “progressive” ends are fine.

Monkeytoe on October 5, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Where’s the intimidation? Companies have been doing this for years.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 11:49 AM

You are kidding…it wasn’t just intimidation, but a threat that they were not going to tolerate adverse statements.
You never saw that statement? The administration are thugs…
When you ask for the link, I will give it to you, don’t want to waste my energy on the obvious and well documented.

right2bright on October 5, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Shallow thinkers would call this ‘unintended consequences’.

People who actually understand 0bama and Pelosi, who have read Cloward – Piven, realize that this sort of thing was fully intended.

LegendHasIt on October 5, 2010 at 1:53 PM

You do understand that the government will not be providing insurance, right? It’ll be the exchanges.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Don’t be stupid, well you are so I am too late in warning you.
The AARP is a huge contributor and supporter, and one of the “insiders” to the bill. They are an insurance company.
As stated, any company not complying with what the administration deems as “correct” will be severely punished and not placed on the government list of insurance companies.
When you dictate who buys the insurance, what insurance companies can sell, how much, where, and to whom…doesn’t that go into the realm of “control” and ownership?
And when a portion of those profits go to your campaign, that is you benefit from their existence, or quid pro quo, that doesn’t bother you?

AARP collects royalties on “Medigap insurance,” a privately purchased insurance coverage that helps pay some of the health-care costs that Medicare doesn’t cover.

“The House bill would dramatically cut money out of Medicare Advantage programs, forcing people to need the Medigap policies that are such a big cash cow for the AARP,”

AARP employees gave dem to Republicans donations a ration of 14 to 1 in favor of democrats.

right2bright on October 5, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Sebilious bans Post-it Notes at HHS; lobbies other departments to follow suit.

BobMbx on October 5, 2010 at 11:21 AM

And in other news… “Big Government grinds to a halt as 1/3 of Federal Employees are no longer able to log in to their computers!”

dominigan on October 5, 2010 at 2:16 PM

I love the ‘government not providing insurance’ argument.

More and more people will get funneled into Medicare and quasi-government plans. The Dems know that this won’t work, so Uncle Sammy will have to come to the rescue and take millions of folks under his wing.

One of their miscalculations was that would still be in power when this all goes down, but they won’t, so I expect this entire mess to be wiped away in 5 years. It still sucks to see the damage being done, it will take 10 or more years to get things back to normal again.

I just hope that people don’t forget that socialism is a disaster, even in small doses.

reaganaut on October 5, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Chip’s fine with ObamaCare! Get him!
Chuck Schick on October 5, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Aaaaiiiiiiyyyyyeeee!
Folks, Please don’t hurt me over some bad formating….
:-)

Chip on October 5, 2010 at 2:23 PM

No sympathy here whatsoever for those 3M retirees. They live in Minnesota, a state which has insisted on giving total power to liberal Dems for decades. So should I be surprised that some folks there are mad about ObamaCare? How many of them voted for Obama and the liberal Congressmen and Senators over the last 20 years?

Maybe they should change the way they look at liberalism there, huh?

BillCarson on October 5, 2010 at 2:32 PM

You do understand that the government will not be providing insurance, right? It’ll be the exchanges.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM

This is just like China has a ‘free market’ economy.
Jimbo-what are you smoking down in E. TX?

Since health ins is already heavily regulated by the gov & since the price for health care svcs is set by the govt bcs of what they decide to pay for svcs to Medicare patients, it is no small wonder that companies don’t even want to get invovled any more in offering health benefits over time.
And it is also no small wonder, as GrannyDee as explained with her little personal story, that Drs are dropping these govt patients en masse.
I have experience with accepting govt ‘help’.
Do you know that bcs we took out an FSA USDA-backed farm loan that the govt now has the ‘right’ to:
come onto our place & count cows/nose around in our resources, bank accounts, personal property etc
AND
to put an insurance lein on our HOUSE in case we ever get an insurance check on home damage?
This is doubly strange to me since the house & land that the house is on is not part of the mortgage that the loan in question is secured through-it’s all in a trust.
I could tell you lots of other ways the govt has intruded into people’slives simply by the fact that they have ‘received govt help’.
The govt uses this to intruded upon your person & personal property.
If the govt were not involved in health care at all (bcs you do NOT have a right to anything except for your personal freedom to worship & live as you choose-see Bill of Rights etc) prices would be reasonable.
All you have to do is look at dental care prices & plastic surgery prices to see that.

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 2:38 PM

BTW-is 3M mad at Sebelius bcs of the post it note ban?
Don’t they make those?
I smell a conspiracy!

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 2:41 PM

You do understand that the government will not be providing insurance, right? It’ll be the exchanges.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Noooo… It will be provided by the insurers that CHOOSE to participate in the exchanges.

What happens if no insurers choose to participate under the oppressive regulations included in Obamacare, which governs insurers participating in the exchanges?

What if doctors choose not to accept insurance from those insurers in the exchanges since Obamacare dictates that price-control boards (“death panels”) will control the reimbursement rates for doctor services?

How will the exchanges provide insurance options when the trend is clearly in the opposite direction?

You do know the meaning of ASSUME, right?

dominigan on October 5, 2010 at 2:56 PM

This is just like China has a ‘free market’ economy.
Jimbo-what are you smoking down in E. TX?

Since health ins is already heavily regulated by the gov & since the price for health care svcs is set by the govt bcs of what they decide to pay for svcs to Medicare patients, it is no small wonder that companies don’t even want to get invovled any more in offering health benefits over time.
And it is also no small wonder, as GrannyDee as explained with her little personal story, that Drs are dropping these govt patients en masse.
I have experience with accepting govt ‘help’.

Badger, China is actually a much freer economy that you might expect. Alot of capitalism there, alhthough with more central planning (and direction) than in the US.

My experience in that the price negotiations by Blue Cross/Blue Shield are just as intense as the negotiations for Medicare.

Are you sure that the government doesn’t get the “proceeds” of your farm to pay off the loan. The loan wouldn’t be secured by a mortgage, but often the lender has a right to the proceeds of what is generated by the property, which would include insurance payments.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Noooo… It will be provided by the insurers that CHOOSE to participate in the exchanges.

What happens if no insurers choose to participate under the oppressive regulations included in Obamacare, which governs insurers participating in the exchanges?

What if doctors choose not to accept insurance from those insurers in the exchanges since Obamacare dictates that price-control boards (“death panels”) will control the reimbursement rates for doctor services?

How will the exchanges provide insurance options when the trend is clearly in the opposite direction?

You do know the meaning of ASSUME, right?

dominigan on October 5, 2010 at 2:56 PM

If it makes economic sense, insurance companies would participate in the exchange.

And doctors are now free not to take insurance.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 3:10 PM

I’m sure Jimbo3 is “fine” with Obamacare and all the lies that were told to the american people to get it passed. that is the only way leftists can get elected or pass anything – lie completely about their intentions and what the consequences will be.

It is somewhat sick that people who claim to be rational and interested in teh good of america have no problem with the unfettered lying they must do to achieve thier ends. But, I guess they figure that on the road to pure socialism (or, to further their lying “progressivism”), some eggs must be broken. It is, after all, for the common good. All means to “progressive” ends are fine.

Monkeytoe on October 5, 2010 at 1:44 PM

95% of what was said about Obamacare was true. The problem is that you and at least several other people here are political bigots. You believe that anyone to the left of you lies all the time about everything, and then you try to look for support for something that approaches mental illness.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 3:15 PM

95% of what was said about Obamacare was true. The problem is that you and at least several other people here are political bigots. You believe that anyone to the left of you lies all the time about everything, and then you try to look for support for something that approaches mental illness.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Post something that supports 95% of what was promised by ObamaCare is true.

Chuck Schick on October 5, 2010 at 3:31 PM

And when we can no longer pay for it, how many people will this wonderful program help?

Chip on October 5, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Look to France for answers.

Wade on October 5, 2010 at 3:33 PM

3m has 23,000 retirees, many of them likely to be living in Minnesota. They’re also likely to vote in the upcoming midterms, perhaps even more likely now than ever.

There are 8 Congressional Districts in Minnesota. Here are the Republican candidates who won their Primary Elections according to:

http://electionresults.sos.state.mn.us/20100810/ElecRslts.asp?M=CG&R=ALL&PN=0000

District 2 – John Kline

District 4 – Teresa Collett

District 5 – Joel Demos

District 6 – Michele Bachmann

District 7 – Lee Byberg

District 8 – Chip Cravaack

(I don’t know why candidates for Districts 1 and 3 were not included on the Secretary of State list.)

If you live in Minnesota, please let us all know what you think of these candidates.

wren on October 5, 2010 at 3:38 PM

95% of what was said about Obamacare was true. The problem is that you and at least several other people here are political bigots. You believe that anyone to the left of you lies all the time about everything, and then you try to look for support for something that approaches mental illness.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 3:15 PM
Post something that supports 95% of what was promised by ObamaCare is true.

Chuck Schick on October 5, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Why don’t you post twenty supposed lies and I’ll answer them.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 3:49 PM

The exchanges, which will sell insurance, start in 2014. Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 11:19 AM

So two years with nothing, then commie care.

“We’ll punch you for two years, then we’ll start kicking you.”

Akzed on October 5, 2010 at 11:42 AM

The Gov’t is hoping that most of these people will just kick the bucket before 2014.

Susanboo on October 5, 2010 at 4:07 PM

95% of what was said about Obamacare was true. The problem is that you and at least several other people here are political bigots. You believe that anyone to the left of you lies all the time about everything, and then you try to look for support for something that approaches mental illness.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 3:15 PM

If the shoe fits……

BobMbx on October 5, 2010 at 4:31 PM

This will eventually go wide. Seniors all over the country will not like it, will loathe it in fact even if they don’t have company plans. The thing is , it will work for the Dems and unions because they’ll spin it as more wealthy big business(read that GOP in the public mind and Dem spin) letting down the elderly and their employees…trying to save money at the little folks expense. All the more reason to have ObamaCare,etc,etc. Just wait. Bad mojo waiting in the wings especially since an offset of sorts was deliberately built into the bill.

jeanie on October 5, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Why don’t you post twenty supposed lies and I’ll answer them.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 3:49 PM

I didn’t make any claim about 20 lies.

Now your turn. Prove the 95% figure that came 100% out of you rearend.

You cannot support ObamaCare without lying and ignoring the obvious, Jimbo. You’re only proving my point.

Chuck Schick on October 5, 2010 at 4:46 PM

If the shoe fits……

BobMbx on October 5, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Indeed it does.

You believe that anyone to the left of you lies all the time about everything, and then you try to look for support for something that approaches mental illness.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 3:15 PM

I’ve seen it all before from the lefties. Same sh!t, different s$$holes.

Dark-Star on October 5, 2010 at 5:04 PM

23,000 voters now in play for the Party that says and does what they want to hear. How many more?

jeanie on October 5, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Some here are under the mistaken impression that these 3M retirees are in Minnesota and deserve what they get because Minnesota votes with the libs.

3M’s corporate offices are in Minnesota, as are some production facilities. However, most of the company’s manufacturing facilities/related offices are in other locations – literally all over the world. Most of the retirees in the U.S. affected by this impending end of their medical benefits live where they worked – Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Missouri – to name just a few. Horse’s mouth speaking – hubby retired from a Missouri plant 2 1/2 years ago.
Most people don’t look into being hired by a corporation because of what political interests the CEO might have – most people just want to be able to provide for their families. It has always been the case that being hired by 3M is an accomplishment to be proud of – not because you might vote a particular way, but because you have succeeded in passing a series of pertinent tests and interviews which mean you will be paid on the merits of your productivity. This is [here] non-union.
After Obama was elected and started his health care sabre-rattling, 3M – and 3M retirees – could see the writing on the marxist walls of the Oval Office: Obama is hell-bent on this being a country with health care controlled absolutely by the federal government. Part of that writing on the wall says the marxists can get away with it because the Republicans in Washington don’t have the spine, cajones, or will to do what this country needs to survive: stop the liberals, and stop the unions. Everything that’s wrong in our country – economically and socially – is the direct result of liberals’ influence, instigation, or implementation – from the failed education system to corporations fleeing to other countries to escape horrific local taxes and unions’ wage/benefits control, to tanking local/state/federal governments.

The ones owing to be vilified by retired 3Mers and all others now or soon to be in the same situation are not the corporations or the insurance companies. Much to liberals’ anguish, they were not formed or grown to be charitible organizations. The ones to be vilified are Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and all who voted in favor of the phase of the calculated destruction of our Republic known as ObamaCare.

GGMac on October 5, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Many words above, many. But, why did 3M decide to announce something that is not scheduled to happen until 2013 three weeks before the mid-terms of 2010? As for vilification, it will fall on the head of 3M by those folks affected. They will simply not see it as the fault of ObamaCare…the buck starts and stops with 3M. And, you may be sure that most seniors will come to that conclusion.(especially if helped along by the almost certain liberal spin) If other companies jump on this band wagon–the mostly certain senior GOP vote, may no longer be so certain. We’ll see how this plays out, but seniors vote and offending them is unwise, no matter the Party.

jeanie on October 5, 2010 at 5:43 PM

The problem is that you and at least several other people here are political bigots. You believe that anyone to the left of you lies all the time about everything…..
Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 3:15 PM

……Well, I reckon I’m one of those political bigots… But I don’t believe that it is all lies, all the time. Quite often it is mere ignorance, or limited mental abilities. And for the few who are intelligent, good debaters and well informed… Well, maybe demon possession is to blame for them.

(I’m not sure if the above is snark or not.)

LegendHasIt on October 5, 2010 at 5:46 PM

The AARP is a huge contributor and supporter, and one of the “insiders” to the bill. They are an insurance company.

right2bright on October 5, 2010 at 2:00 PM

That is not true. AARP does not sell insurance of any kind, and I have repeadtely pointed this out here many times in the past. AARP “endorses” certain kinds of insurance, especially Medicare supplements, in exchange for the use of their logo, and they get paid extremely well for that, but they do not sell any insurance product. I am not saying they are not sleazy and hip deep involved in Obamacare and kickbacks from insurance companies, but they do not sell any insurance products. We need to be careful on what “facts” we post here.

Johnnyreb on October 5, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Many words above, many. But, why did 3M decide to announce something that is not scheduled to happen until 2013 three weeks before the mid-terms of 2010?
jeanie on October 5, 2010 at 5:43 PM

Because in the US, Corporations are required by Federal law to announce any (and I mean any) potential negative
factor(s) that influence their bottom line with shareholders the minute they become aware of them. If they don’t announce them as soon as they know of them, they can be and are fined by the Fed when they become public knowledge. Obamacare has tons of ticking timebombs hidden throught the 2,000+ pages of the bill, some more will come creepinmg out in the next few years.

Johnnyreb on October 5, 2010 at 6:14 PM

Please. Does anyone under the age of 55 actually believe that:
(a) big corporations will keep any promises regarding retiree medical care? (No — they will dump us all as fast as possible)
(b) big corporations will keep any promises regarding pension plans? (No — they will create a new company offshore, sell the current company assets to the new company, leave a small rump company owning the pension plan, which will go bankrupt and push it onto the PBGC — the Pension Benefit Guaranty Company)
(c) that any of us will have any 401K or IRA benefits to retire on? (No — the hyperinflation of the US dollar will wipe out the value of all dollar denominated assets)

SunSword on October 5, 2010 at 6:39 PM

That is not true. AARP does not sell insurance of any kind…..
Johnnyreb on October 5, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Well, I don’t disagree with the basic facts of what you said above, but I’d like play a bit of semantics…. AARP isn’t a direct insurer….. But they do ‘sell the hell’ out of the insurance that the companies that they endorse provide. And I despise them for their marketing tactics, directed at scaring unsophisticated, trusting seniors into buying the products (and the politics) that they endorse. I’ve had to protect my aged and disabled mother from their predatory tactics for years.

LegendHasIt on October 5, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Well, I don’t disagree with the basic facts of what you said above, but I’d like play a bit of semantics…. AARP isn’t a direct insurer….. But they do ‘sell the hell’ out of the insurance that the companies that they endorse provide. And I despise them for their marketing tactics, directed at scaring unsophisticated, trusting seniors into buying the products (and the politics) that they endorse. I’ve had to protect my aged and disabled mother from their predatory tactics for years.

LegendHasIt on October 5, 2010 at 6:40 PM

I don’t disagree with you, and I said so in my post. That was the sleazy part I pointed out, but the fact remains AARP does not and has never sold any insurance product. And to be taken seriously we need to present facts in our commetns, not rumors or conjecture. And myself and the wife are beseiged daily by the AARP.

Johnnyreb on October 5, 2010 at 7:07 PM

as more and more companies dump their employers onto the BarryCare public option, it will become a fact of life and impossible to kill

bayview on October 5, 2010 at 7:15 PM

The problem is that you and at least several other people here are political bigots. You believe that anyone to the left of you lies all the time about everything…..
Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Do you believe that adding 33 million Americans to cradle-to-grave welfare:

1) Lowers healthcare and insurance costs
2) Reduces the deficit
3) Improves care
4) Increases doctor-to-patient ratios
5) Decreases wait time

I don’t.

Chuck Schick on October 5, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Are you sure that the government doesn’t get the “proceeds” of your farm to pay off the loan. The loan wouldn’t be secured by a mortgage, but often the lender has a right to the proceeds of what is generated by the property, which would include insurance payments.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Not in any of the paperwork we signed or received concerning the restructure of the private loan to the fed backed loan (gave us a lower rate).
This is a classic move by the govt.
There are many ‘unwritten’ rules that come out of the woodwork later.
The property that is collateral for the one federal backed loan (we structured part of the debt one year)is not in any way related to the homestead that’s part of a trust & un-mortgaged that they want to attach this insurance lien to.
I’m telling you Jimbo-when you have any dealings with the govt, in my experience, they will change & add rules at will.
And you can ask one person in the govt office a ?, get an answer, ask 5 other people & get 5 other different answers & still ask more people in the same office, higher up, etc & get still more answers or an I Don’t Know.
The point here is, the govt is making $hit up as they go along, out of contract, against a contract, & the little guy has a snowball’s chance in hell of fighting it realistically, even with that fancy EAJA $$.
The govt is telling me that they have a right to EVERYTHING I have, whether it has anything to do with the mortgaged property or not.
They’re saying they have a right to my home by telling me that they can take the insurance $$ settlement that should go to fix my house & apply it toward a loan that is secured by totally different property (that’s locked up in a trust!).
If it’s not written anywhere then why is the FSA office telling me I have to do this?!

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Do you believe that adding 33 million Americans to cradle-to-grave welfare:

1) Lowers healthcare and insurance costs
2) Reduces the deficit
3) Improves care
4) Increases doctor-to-patient ratios
5) Decreases wait time

I don’t.

Chuck Schick on October 5, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Classic.
And neither do I.
There is no waffling on any of the points you made.
But there are still people out there who think that it’s such a good idea that the govt keeps meddling in health care.
Bcs as we all know, they have done such a good job of it so far that all they need is MORE power to control it.

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 7:52 PM

That is not true. AARP does not sell insurance of any kind…..
Johnnyreb on October 5, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Well, I don’t disagree with the basic facts of what you said above, but I’d like play a bit of semantics…. AARP isn’t a direct insurer….. But they do ‘sell the hell’ out of the insurance that the companies that they endorse provide. And I despise them for their marketing tactics, directed at scaring unsophisticated, trusting seniors into buying the products (and the politics) that they endorse. I’ve had to protect my aged and disabled mother from their predatory tactics for years.

LegendHasIt on October 5, 2010 at 6:40 PM

So I am wondering if AARP does not actually sell the insurance they are shilling for, then what are they getting for their shilling?
It’s gotta be something.

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 7:54 PM

That won’t be good news for House Democrats in the Minnesota delegation hoping to win a new term in four weeks.

That’s some hope for change I can believe in.

chickasaw42 on October 5, 2010 at 8:30 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHAH…ahhhh…elections have consequences. WHY would ANYONE vote for a Democrat.

royzer on October 5, 2010 at 9:01 PM

3m has 23,000 retirees, many of them likely to be living in Minnesota. They’re also likely to vote in the upcoming midterms, perhaps even more likely now than ever.
There are 8 Congressional Districts in Minnesota. Here are the Republican candidates who won their Primary Elections according to:

http://electionresults.sos.state.mn.us/20100810/ElecRslts.asp?M=CG&R=ALL&PN=0000

District 2 – John Kline

District 4 – Teresa Collett

District 5 – Joel Demos

District 6 – Michele Bachmann

District 7 – Lee Byberg

District 8 – Chip Cravaack

(I don’t know why candidates for Districts 1 and 3 were not included on the Secretary of State list.)

If you live in Minnesota, please let us all know what you think of these candidates.

wren on October 5, 2010 at 3:38 PM

I have known Chip Cravaack since 1977… He is a superb individual who will represent Minnesota with distinction when elected on NO-vember 2nd…

Khun Joe on October 5, 2010 at 10:36 PM

Some reporter(I didn’t catch his name or paper)essentially told Greta tonight that ‘Hey you 23,000 suckers, live with it.”

jeanie on October 5, 2010 at 10:53 PM

So if I’m understanding correctly, the rebate essentially replaces the subsidy?

But then why wouldn’t 3M take advantage of the rebate program and keep providing coverage to retirees?

Missy on October 5, 2010 at 12:30 PM

First thing to remember is that this administartion and key leaders of Congress know viturally nothing about running a business, working a real job, or insurance and how it works. They are almost to a head, socialist or communist, yet they seem to be as confused about their own socialist/communist command economic system approach to business as they are about the American free market system that actually creates jobs and businesses.

To the question of the rebate replacing the subsity; it is not replacing the subsity. Obamacare is going to cost them more that normal group polices cost them today, in part because of coverage mandates that are not needed by most people or that do not exist today.

Companies both small and large, new and established, make business decisions based on expected future market conditions, taxes, and potential libilites. If for any reason one of those is not known, they will either take the most cautious postion or put it on hold until such time that they can predict what libilites, taxes or conditions they will find.

The healthcare bill is one of those uncertain and unknow libilites. It is a work of art on the production of a bill that is business unfriendly because of the shear number of laws, mandates and provisions, all with references that have references that have references, making itit totally unreadable or definable even by a lawyer with a high degree of certainity. That means that everything in it means what the goverment decides it means, which will undoubtly be determine in the favor or Government.

3M has obviously looked at the business unfriendly healthcare bill and saw an uncertain future of libilites and undetermined mandates. If they stopped providing group insurance those uncertainites will become manageable, even non existent. In the short run, even with giving their employees a stipend to pay for the Obamacare insurance, they may be at at some disadvantage and forced to pay fines that are, but when the intended move to a one payer system occures after 2012, they might find not being a group provider avoids future mandates for those who still did.

Companies who take the rebate will must likely use it to off set the administrative cost as well as lessen the increase on their employees. For now they are hedging bets against an uncertain future or a less uncertain one if they have worked out the palm greasing for protection provisions.

Franklyn on October 5, 2010 at 10:56 PM

Well since the exchanges don’t even exist yet and no one(not even 3M apparently)is saying what these subsidies will be and how much they ‘ll pay and for how long—I’m going right to my pols(no matter who wins)and start making waves. Depending on what and who takes steps(if any)to curb this and what steps they take, I will vote my own interests because that’s what 3M is doing so why not….. and, I’d bet, so will the 23,000 and however many more eventually get added to the rolls.

jeanie on October 5, 2010 at 11:08 PM

The good news is companies like 3M are making these announcements before the election. — It won’t be good news for Democrats come Nov 2.

Dasher on October 6, 2010 at 12:34 AM

No sympathy here whatsoever for those 3M retirees. They live in Minnesota, a state which has insisted on giving total power to liberal Dems for decades. So should I be surprised that some folks there are mad about ObamaCare? How many of them voted for Obama and the liberal Congressmen and Senators over the last 20 years?

Maybe they should change the way they look at liberalism there, huh?

BillCarson on October 5, 2010 at 2:32 PM

3M has employees all over the world;
Worldwide – 75,000
USA – 31,500
MN – about 20,000
Retirees – lots worldwide

MN definitely a blue state, quite possibly the home of the dumbest voters in the US… Franken, Klobuchar, Ventura, Wellstone, Mondale, etc. – and many bad choices in voter approved laws – are proof + last time the state went GOP for president was in 1972 (Nixon).

One the other hand we have Michele Bachmann.

ØbamaCare will affect everyone in a bad way, not just 3M’ers.

Dasher on October 6, 2010 at 1:29 AM

95% of what was said about Obamacare was true. The problem is that you and at least several other people here are political bigots. You believe that anyone to the left of you lies all the time about everything, and then you try to look for support for something that approaches mental illness.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 3:15 PM

You come here on every Obamacare thread and shill for it. Why? Someone paying you to do it?

You’re not a very good shiller, Jimbo. Seems like once you were given the what-for, your powers of persuasion are severely hampered. Such as they were in the first place.

Grace_is_sufficient on October 6, 2010 at 6:13 AM

95% of what was said about Obamacare was true. The problem is that you and at least several other people here are political bigots. You believe that anyone to the left of you lies all the time about everything, and then you try to look for support for something that approaches mental illness.

Jimbo3 on October 5, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Thanks for admitting that your phony baloney plastic banana good time rock and roll left wing jackass statist rulers lied about Obamacare.

Back to your bridge.

fossten on October 6, 2010 at 7:58 AM

I’m waiting for the drop letter from Verizon who provides retirees with plans to choose from with varying levels of coverage that are a supplement to Medicare. We pick our coverage and pay the premium. Medicare premiums are deducted from our SS check. When you reach 65, your insurance company will only let you get a supplement and the govt will fine you if at a later date you decide to get MC. Once on MC, the govt decides your coverage or not, and the cost. Now we have the death panels to contend with and less coverage and choices of doctors. Welcome to your golden years. See what you have to look forward to especially when single payer takes over.

Kissmygrits on October 6, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Do you believe that adding 33 million Americans to cradle-to-grave welfare:

1) Lowers healthcare and insurance costs
2) Reduces the deficit
3) Improves care
4) Increases doctor-to-patient ratios
5) Decreases wait time

I don’t.

Chuck Schick on October 5, 2010 at 7:41 PM

How is this giving them “cradle-to-grave welfare”? And if they are now getting service through emergency rooms which is being written off because they can’t afford to pay, yes, the overall costs could go down and improve overall care.

Jimbo3 on October 6, 2010 at 10:14 AM

You come here on every Obamacare thread and shill for it. Why? Someone paying you to do it?

You’re not a very good shiller, Jimbo. Seems like once you were given the what-for, your powers of persuasion are severely hampered. Such as they were in the first place.

Grace_is_sufficient on October 6, 2010 at 6:13 AM

Whatever. No one’s paying me. And who gave me the what-for and what is the what-for?

Jimbo3 on October 6, 2010 at 10:15 AM

So I am wondering if AARP does not actually sell the insurance they are shilling for, then what are they getting for their shilling?
It’s gotta be something.

Badger40 on October 5, 2010 at 7:54 PM

AARP likely collects a license fee for allowing insurance companies to use its name and logo in selling insurance.

Jimbo3 on October 6, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Verizon has a whole lot more retirees than 3M. Whatever Party gets the upper hand would be very foolish to ignore these. In fact, if all the retirees from very large companies such as Verizon and 3M were to decide to act as a bloc, they would have considerable clout. Frankly, I would not trust Verizon any further than 3M. I blame these companies and see OCare as only the secondary cause. In the end, these companies that are very solvent and can continue to afford the present health care options are only seeking to enhance their own bottom line. You will notice that some employees of 3M are keeping the company health care. Guess who those might be? If this is seen as a condemnation of OCAre–count me out. I’m blaming the companies…and I will blame the Party that let’s it happen.

jeanie on October 6, 2010 at 10:25 AM

If OCare is repealed or funding denied by a new Congress, will 3M have to back down? Some how I think not. They will still insist on supposedly ‘subsidizing’ their retirees onto the public pocket.

jeanie on October 6, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Kingjester, they may want repealed so it can be replaced by a one-payor system. Many Dems didn’t think the law went far enough. A simple “repeal/no repeal” question won’t get that information.

Jimbo3 on October 6, 2010 at 10:44 AM

If OCare is repealed or funding denied by a new Congress, will 3M have to back down? Some how I think not. They will still insist on supposedly ‘subsidizing’ their retirees onto the public pocket.

jeanie on October 6, 2010 at 10:42 AM

3M won’t. What that means is retirees/pre-retirees need to make sure that health insurance options are available to them.

Repealing Obamacare would eliminate the state exchanges and the prohibition on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, which–without more–would eliminate the ability to be guaranteed to have health insurance.

Jimbo3 on October 6, 2010 at 10:47 AM

would eliminate the ability to be guaranteed to have health insurance.

Jimbo3 on October 6, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Uh, exactly where in the Constitution is there a guarantee to have health insurance? Sorry, I can’t seem to find it. And before you say that I would prefer to let the uninsured people die in the streets, we have many charity hospitals and other organizations that tend to the poor around the country.

Johnnyreb on October 6, 2010 at 10:53 AM

The ObamaCare negatively affected our benefits here at work. We received an HR letter recently stating that because of the new Obama Health Care policies, our insurance will no longer pay for mail-order prescriptions.

jediwebdude on October 6, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Jimbo3 on October 6, 2010 at 10:47 AM

I think we’ve passed the point of no return on universal health care. Even if the GOP succeeds in getting parts repealed they will never be able to back away from some alternative. That’s not why I’m angry. I’m disgusted with companies like 3M who can afford the status quo and are hiding their own greed behind well meant but badly flawed legislation–using it as a convenient excuse. And I will be overwhemingly angry at the Party that lets them and others get away with it.

jeanie on October 6, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Uh, exactly where in the Constitution is there a guarantee to have health insurance? Sorry, I can’t seem to find it. And before you say that I would prefer to let the uninsured people die in the streets, we have many charity hospitals and other organizations that tend to the poor around the country.

Johnnyreb on October 6, 2010 at 10:53 AM

There isn’t one. Just like there’s no guarantee to have a job, or a bunch of other things. But that doesn’t mean that laws can’t be passed for those things which comply with the Constitution.

And charity hospitals and other organizations don’t cut it. Why would people want to spend themselves into near bankruptcy before they can get health care?

Jimbo3 on October 6, 2010 at 11:02 AM

The ObamaCare negatively affected our benefits here at work. We received an HR letter recently stating that because of the new Obama Health Care policies, our insurance will no longer pay for mail-order prescriptions.

jediwebdude on October 6, 2010 at 11:01 AM

I’d ask your HR department for more details. The only thing I’ve read about is a new requirement that health reimbursement accounts can only be used for prescription drugs, rather than over-the-counter stuff.

Jimbo3 on October 6, 2010 at 11:07 AM

I’m disgusted with companies like 3M who can afford the status quo and are hiding their own greed behind well meant but badly flawed legislation–using it as a convenient excuse. And I will be overwhemingly angry at the Party that lets them and others get away with it.

jeanie on October 6, 2010 at 11:01 AM

I think you missed my post above about the responsibilities to shareholders that 3M has. They are required by Federal law to minimize any thing that might negativitly impact their shareholders. This is not about the CEO of 3M and his/her greed, or the company trying to influence an election cycle. This is about complying with Federal law. If they do not do this, they can be fined/prosecuted by the Fed. There is no nefarious plot to steal money from retirees. They are required to do this, and announce it publicily the minute they suspect something that might influence their bottom line, no matter how far in the future. You can thank Federal Government regulations for them doing this. Laws somtimes have unintended consequences.

Johnnyreb on October 6, 2010 at 11:28 AM

How is this giving them “cradle-to-grave welfare”? And if they are now getting service through emergency rooms which is being written off because they can’t afford to pay, yes, the overall costs could go down and improve overall care.

Jimbo3 on October 6, 2010 at 10:14 AM

You honestly do not understand how ObamaCare is cradle-to-grave welfare?

And your second point is laughable. Doctor shortages are already expect to be 50% WORSE now by 2015 because of ObamaCare, so the ER is exactly where people will keep going. RomneyCare already proved this. It hasn’t lowered the load on ERs in the slightest.

Chuck Schick on October 6, 2010 at 1:54 PM

I have known Chip Cravaack since 1977… He is a superb individual who will represent Minnesota with distinction when elected on NO-vember 2nd…

Khun Joe on October 5, 2010 at 10:36 PM

Thank you Khun Joe!

Chip Cravaack looks like a very impressive candidate who deserves more atention in the media.

Chip Cravaack is the Republican candidate who is running against Rep. James Oberstar in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.

Learn more about Chip Cravaack at his campaign website:

http://chipcravaack.com/

According to the FEC.gov website http://www.fec.gov/DisclosureSearch/HSRefreshCandList.do?category=disH&stateName=MN&congressId=08&election_yr=2010 Chip could use some help with financial donations.

As of 7/21/10,

Chip Cravaack had Cash on Hand = $42,322

Rep. James Oberstar had Cash on Hand = $1,125,539

It is exciting to see such strong Republican candidates running for Congress in 2010!

wren on October 6, 2010 at 4:58 PM

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