Post This, Obamacare!

Retiree's of 3M, makers of Post-It Notes and Scotch tape will see their retiree health insurance go away courtesy of Obamacare. As more companies weigh the cost of providing health insurance against the predicted rise in health insurance premiums and additional government reporting requirements, dropping health insurance becomes a foregone conclusion.

When it is less expensive and less painful to drop health insurance benefits than it is to maintain, companies large and small, as well as individuals, will make the obvious choice.

Problem is, the drafters of Obamacrap anticipated most people who get health insurance through their employer would continue to do so.

Given that almost no one in Washington, from Obama on down through the Cabinet and Congress have no clue how the business world works, it is not surprising that they did not anticipate the backlash of resistance to more government interference in the private sector.

"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.

When ERISA imposed new rules on retirement plans in 1974 almost no one in government anticipated the mass cancellation of traditional retirement plans that followed. 

Just like Obamacrap, the idea behind ERISA was to impose "consumer protection" rules on businesses that offered retirement plans. Employers dropped defined benefit plans like a hot potato in the years immediately after ERISA and never looked back. The PBGC which was created to provide insurance for underfunded retirement plans has struggled ever since to cover benefits from terminated retirement plans that were underfunded.

The recent recession would have most likely torpedoed the PBGC if not for the fact very few publicly traded companies offer traditional retirement plans.

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."

Will Obamacrap transform employer group health insurance into a sequel to ERISA?

If Obamacrap is not repealed or gutted you can count on it.

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