Friday, September 28, 2007

The GM-UAW Deal--If UAW Workers Can No Longer Count on Employer-Provided Health Care Then Neither Can Harry and Louise

I'm not the first one to suggest the GM-UAW deal to set up a VEBA is a watershed event. Most observers are focusing on the trend it will accelerate in the employee benefits market--and it will.

I will suggest another dramatic impact that it will have--on voters.

The polls already tell us that health care is by far the top domestic policy issue and second overall only to Iraq.

This deal is also going to make voters even more concerned about health care. The middle-class gets its terrific health care benefits at work. The UAW led that trend decades ago.

Now, the UAW is admitting that it cannot count on its employers to any longer provide these benefits.

The more important message: If UAW workers can't count on their employer for good health insurance benefits then neither can Harry and Louise.

This is one more important step on the journey of centrist voters in the U.S. toward a consensus that it is time for fundamental health care reform.

The Republican presidential candidates, that are not so far taking the health care issue seriously, had better pay attention.
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