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New York Times: Obama-Care Could Save Detroit

From a cheering New York Times:

Detroit Looks to Health Law to Ease Costs

By MONICA DAVEY and ABBY GOODNOUGH | July 28, 2013

As Detroit enters the federal bankruptcy process, the city is proposing a controversial plan for paring some of the $5.7 billion it owes in retiree health costs: pushing many of those too young to qualify for Medicare out of city-run coverage and into the new insurance markets that will soon be operating under the Obama health care law.

Which is something we predicted long before Obama-Care even became law. But, the hilarious thing is, The Times thinks this is great news.

But just imagine their outrage if this were being done by Bain Capital? After all, these city workers are getting their insurance under public sector union contracts. What is more sacrosanct to the left than public sector union contracts? (Just look at Wisconsin.)

But, for some reason, The Times doesn’t seem any too concerned about any of these city workers losing their ‘Cadillac’ insurance plans. (There is a probably a reason for that. They realize that these unions will eventually get taxpayer subsidies.)

Detroit… is being watched closely by municipal leaders around the nation, many of whom complain of mounting, unsustainable prices for the health care promised to retired city workers.

Similar proposals that could shift public sector retirees into the new insurance markets, called exchanges, are already being planned or contemplated in places like Chicago; Sheboygan County, Wis.; and Stockton, Calif.

In other words, these Democrat politicians can’t wait to unload these ‘Cadillac’ healthcare plans these political hacks gave to the public sector unions to buy votes and power.

While large employers that eliminate health benefits for full-time workers can be penalized under the health care law, retirees are a different matter…

And, lest we forget, even those employer ‘penalties’ have been pushed back a year, if not indefinitely.

Unfunded retiree health care costs loom larger than ever for localities across the country, and the health law’s guarantee of federal subsidies to help people with modest incomes afford coverage has made the new insurance markets tantalizing for local governments.

A study issued this year by the Pew Charitable Trusts found 61 of the nation’s major cities wrestling with $126 billion in retiree health costs, all but 6 percent of that unfunded…

And how many of those 61 cities have been run forever by Democrats? But we, the US taxpayers, will get to bail them out. What an unexpected benefit of Obama-Care.

But if large numbers of localities follow that course, it could amount to a significant cost shift to the federal government. Authors of the health care law expected at least some shifting of retirees into the new insurance exchanges, said Timothy S. Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University who closely follows the law. “But if a lot of them do, especially big state and local programs,” he said, “that’s going to be a huge cost for the United States government, and it’s mandatory spending.” …

What a shock. And, once again, we predicted it. How come the authors of the bill didn’t see it coming?

In any case, officials in Detroit and elsewhere say the old insurance plans are no longer feasible. Detroit has more than 19,000 retirees — nearly twice as many people as currently work for the city — and 7,500 of them are younger than 65.

Not to mention that all of the Obama-Care mandates have made private insurance premiums skyrocket.

“I’m applauding Detroit,” said Dan Miller, the controller in Harrisburg, Pa., who added that in the future a similar plan might interest his city, where a state-appointed receiver is seeking to restructure hundreds of millions of dollars of debt. “I’m hoping that Obamacare turns out to be a great solution, and I would love for our city to have the opportunity to do that.”

Yes, isn’t it fabulous that Obama-Care will allow these cities to renege on their union contracts? At least until the unions manage to get the same luxurious plans under Obama-Care that they had before via US taxpayer subsidies. Which is sure to follow like night the day.

So, in the end, the unions will be better off. Instead of having to worry about getting their insurance from Detroit or some other city on the rocks, they will have their health insurance provided for them by the full faith and credit of the US taxpayers. What’s not to like?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, July 29th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “New York Times: Obama-Care Could Save Detroit”

  1. Sweet yodeling Moses! Save DE-troit? By taxing all their citizens into abject poverty worse than they now know? How is that saving them?

    • mr_bill

      According to “liberal logic,” Detroit isn’t broke because it spent too much money, it’s broke becasue it didn’t spend enough. If they could just get some more of other peoples’ money to spend, it will fix everything!

    • Rusty Shackleford

      “We have to wreck Detroit in order to save it.”

      –Nancy Pelosi

  2. I’d be willing to bet that before the transition to Obiecare is complete, cities like Detroit will not only push their employees into the healthcare exchanges, but that the retirees will get a whole new “standard” of care under the new regulations that will certainly be created. They may even come out and openly deny any coverage for retirees.

    They’ll cite some liberal quasi-logic while letting the old folks eat cake. Hopefully it will end peacefully… just like the French revolution. “Billy-Bob… is that guillotine still up in the attic?”

  3. AcornsRNutz

    So the concept that the affairs of lib cities in Illinois and Michigan should not affect conservative dinky hamlets in rural Maine is out the window. States rights went first in favor of federal oversight (read control) to the thunderous applause of both libs an conservatives, via the supreme court and executive order. Now it’s cities. For every thing the the federal government does to help a municipal body sets a precedent for what it can do TO HARM a similar sized body elsewhere. The next thing smaller than a city or town is the individual and his property.

    I’m a republican now, but historically the abrogation of states rights in the form of well intentioned Republican policies set this kind of thing up. Oh, the libs are to blame a plenty, but one thing the Dixie-crats got right, lost among all the hooting about racism, was that the damage done to states rights in the form of federal policy and funding or withholding funds as a means of enforcing edicts was going to have implications In the future. They knew that letting the Federal gov incrementally take state sovereignty would take us to where we are now.

    How long until the bastions of conservatism cannot compete with federally propped up liberal competition and are either forced to deal with the devil or wither and die? Oh wait, that time has passed, and there are damned few such bastions left anyway.

  4. yadayada

    “While large employers that eliminate health benefits for full-time workers can be penalized under the health care law, retirees are a different matter…”

    so are gubmint workers. can’t penalize the city or state for dumping them on the fed roles.

    does that mean that all big eeevil corporations can dump their retirees, too?

  5. canary

    Why isn’t Detroit crying Enron.

    Seriously, I don’t understand this. But, most of these people probably voted for Obama never understood that health care will never be free.

  6. Astravogel

    After viewing the photo accompaning this article, I was reminded of
    a trip through St. Louis, Missouri, during my teen years. Passing a large
    complex of high-rise apartments, I asked why none of the first-floor
    windows could be seen, due to mounds of something in front of them.
    The explanation was that they were piles of garbage, thrown out of the
    windows above. Later, when I went through the stage of keeping pigeons,
    I noticed that they fouled their nests as well, in fact, the nest was made
    of pigeon poop. Any similiarity to Detroit and other welfare islands is
    purely circumstancial.


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