Ford/GM merger talks…



  • http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060918/UPDATE/609180420

    Oh, pu-leeez!
    The Titanic attempts to rescue the Andrea Doria.  The wooly mammoth attempts to mate with the sabretooth tiger.

    A mistake or brilliant?!


    A little history…

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=258885

    New York Times
    Health care costs soaring for GM
    Projected expense for retirees is $63 billion
    By DANNY HAKIM

    Posted: Sept. 14, 2004

    GM covers the health care costs of 1.1 million Americans, or close to half a percent of the total population, though fewer than 200,000 are active workers. Not only are such costs escalating rapidly, but GM’s rivals, based in Japan and Germany, have virtually no retirees from their newer operations in the United States and, at home, the expenses are largely assumed by taxpayers through nationalized health care systems.

    Compared with GM, Toyota, the industry’s most profitable automaker, pays almost nothing for health care. It employs 31,000 Americans, whom it covers with a good health plan, but the company said in its latest annual report that its future financial obligations for its retirees’ health care were not large enough to affect its profits significantly.

    The United Automobile Workers union negotiated generous pension and health benefits with the American automakers in a pre-globalized era in which the Big Three essentially made up the world’s auto industry. Today, with competition global and the U.S. health care system putting the burden largely on employers, retiree medical costs are one reason Toyota’s $10.2 billion profit in its most recent fiscal year was more than double the combined profit of the Big Three.

    “We’re spending more on health care and less on the auto business, and frankly that does not work,” said John Devine, GM’s chief financial officer.

    The biggest challenge for GM is not so much that people are living longer today, but that medical costs are going up so fast in an era of mega-marketed pharmaceuticals and big-ticket diagnostic tests. When Pusey retired, medical spending was about 5% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, compared with about 15% today. Average spending per person on hospital care alone is up from $318 in 1965, inflation adjusted, to about $1,600 today.

    For GM, which earned $1.2 billion last year, annual health spending has risen to $4.8 billion from $3 billion just since 1996, even as deaths and job cuts have trimmed its worker and retiree ranks and it has taken numerous steps to trim costs. The company also contributed another $3.3 billion last year to a retiree health care trust fund. Out of the total 1.1 million people it covers, GM pays health care expenses for 450,000 retirees and their spouses.

    Additional history…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/14/AR2005121402321.html

    Ford Retirees to Pay Some Health Care Costs
    By Dee-Ann Durbin
    Associated Press
    December 15, 2005, Page D2

    The UAW announced over the weekend that it had reached the deal with Ford, but details were withheld until after the UAW presented the deal to local union leaders. The agreement is subject to ratification by active members.

    The agreement is expected to save Ford $850 million annually on a pretax basis, the UAW said.

    Ford is the second automaker to reach a health care agreement with the UAW this year. Last month, General Motors Corp. hourly workers voted for a pact that requires workers and retirees to pay more for their health care.

    The UAW said it will now negotiate a similar agreement with DaimlerChrysler AG.

    Dearborn-based Ford reported a third-quarter loss of $284 million. The No. 2 U.S. automaker has been struggling to meet its health care obligations as its U.S. market share declines.

    Ford spent about $3.1 billion to cover 550,000 hourly and salaried workers, retirees and dependents in 2004, and expects that total to rise to $3.5 billion this year.

    The health care agreement is only part of a major restructuring plan Ford expects to announce in January. The company has said job cuts and plant closures will be part of that plan.(Now in Fast Forward speed.)




  • All this and the US STILL spends an extra 5% of its budget more than Canada on healthcare . . . that’s kind of funny.


  • 2007 AAR League

    because of illegals and medicaid, forget that stuff.  Also in cali you can get the government to pay for liposuction and other cosmetic surgery, the votes were there.  Man californians suck, free lipo, they care way way to much about their image.



  • Actually, it would be because of the massive pill-popping culture we ahve created, and the fact that everyone over 62 and on Medicaid is taking more pills per day than I take in a year.



  • @ncscswitch:

    Actually, it would be because of the massive pill-popping culture we ahve created, and the fact that everyone over 62 and on Medicaid is taking more pills per day than I take in a year.

    That may be related to why they are living well past 60/70/80 these days. . . .



  • Or it could be that we have great surgical techniques to reduce mortality of thigns like cancer.  We also have good acute diease drugs, like antibiotics.

    I am not convinved that the majority of chronic meds are a very good idea in many/most cases though.



  • @ncscswitch:

    Or it could be that we have great surgical techniques to reduce mortality of thigns like cancer.  We also have good acute diease drugs, like antibiotics.

    I am not convinved that the majority of chronic meds are a very good idea in many/most cases though.

    Just look at the history of cholesterol-reduction trials.
    It used to be easy to show a benefit with marginally lowering cholesterol.  Now it is more difficult to see a greater difference.  Why?
    Because now-a-days the “placebo” group has a much lower cvd mortality than 10+ years ago.  Why?  Because they are on medications/treatments that showed benefits in the earlier trials as it is unethical to enroll these patients in trials without having them on the gold-standards of cvd treatment.

    (cvd=cardio-vascular disease)

    for example.
    Also - you are only partially correct about “improved surgical techniques”.  We do have more screening techniques and guidelines but with many of these the evidence is mixed in terms of cancer screening - except for Breast, Cervical and Colo-rectal.



  • Pretty big exceptions there… 3 of the 5 biggest killers.



  • Immunizations probably have one heck of a role in that extended life span too.

    But alas, we are digressing form the topic.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Just remember that there are only three methods Doctors have to “cure” you.

    They can burn you.
    They can poison you.
    They can cut you.

    🙂

    Meanwhile, sometimes pills are necessary, but you know what?  The Army taught me that 90% of your health problems could be cured if you drank double the recommended water per day. (AMA recommendation of course, which is 64 ounces of water over 12 hours.)  Personally, I drink between 4 and 6 liters of water and here’s the results:

    Cholesterol way down.  (Even my good cholesterol.)
    Blood Pressure down to normal
    Loosing weight
    Less Hungery
    No more allergies
    Easier to breathe while working out vigorously
    No more dry mouth
    General good feeling throughout the day, no highs or lows.
    Harder to get sick, faster to recover from getting sick.

    Yea, I’d say good ol H2O is the best thing to happen to mankind since the dawn of man when it comes to health and well being.


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