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Corporate America has discovered something really convenient (for them) about Obamacare: Just about any cut to workers can be blamed on it. A number of companies have cut workers' hours so they won't be full-time and eligible for employer-provided health care. Now, UPS has a new one: 15,000 spouses of white-collar UPS workers will be excluded from UPS health coverage as of next year. The cuts affect the spouses of non-union U.S. workers who are eligible for health care from another source.
Many analysts downplay the Affordable Care Act's effect on companies such as UPS, noting that the move is part of a long-term trend of shrinking corporate medical benefits. But the shipping giant repeatedly cites the act to explain the decision, adding fuel to the debate over whether it erodes traditional employer coverage.

Rising medical costs, "combined with the costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, have made it increasingly difficult to continue providing the same level of health care benefits to our employees at an affordable cost," UPS said in a memo to employees.

UPS cites a few factors in Obamacare, like a research fee slated to rise to $2 per person and a temporary $63 per person fee, but:
"The notion that those are going to be make-or-break when they are otherwise absorbing 7 to 10% a year [in broader health-cost increases] is kind of ridiculous," said Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist who advised the Obama administration on health policy. "Nobody expected the ACA to have a major effect on health costs for large firms."
Not to mention that in addition to this move fitting in with the trend of companies slashing health benefits, it comes as the growth of health care premiums has actually slowed. But let's not let that get in the way of a good story.

The good news is that the people UPS is cutting at least theoretically have access to health coverage elsewhere. But if they were using UPS insurance, presumably they had a reason for it—the insurance at their job was more expensive, or not as good, or it was just more convenient for everyone in the family to have the same insurance.

UPS is certainly not out of the corporate mainstream in wanting to cut its workers' benefits. But blaming the move on Obamacare despite the fact that the similar health reform law in Massachusetts led to a rise in employer health coverage and that the CBO has said that large employers would see only a very minor impact on premiums—that puts UPS in a league with low-wage restaurant chains like Olive Garden and Papa John's. Is that really where it wants to be?

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 01:51 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kos Georgia and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  BREAKING: Obamacare causes Hurricane Katrina! (28+ / 0-)

    Linky to Jed's bombshell FP story!!11!1!!

    As the not-so-scary-after-all Obamacare rolls out, I hope the American people wise up to the pathetic lies that corporate America and the GOP are desperately trying to sell. 'Cause this is seriously getting old.

    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

    by earicicle on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:01:26 PM PDT

  •  a steaming pile of Brown union-busters (11+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:03:41 PM PDT

    •  It is UPS white collar workers affected (0+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately, ACA causes other problems for union workers...

      The sequester is the new Republican immigration reform plan. Make things so bad here in the US that no one will want to live here.

      by Mote Dai on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 04:33:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Read the article again, (0+ / 0-)

        and this time put your thinking cap on.  Lots of errors and buying into myths going on in that synopsis.  They are bitching because they already have a healthcare plan but they aren't getting subsidies like everybody else.  Boo Hoo. ACA was designed to help gain access  for 30 million UNINSURED and underinsured.  It wasn't intended to help those already insured unless you count the millions who got an insurance rebate because they were being ripped off by their insurance companies (80/20 rule) or unless you count those who have private insurance who have seen their premiums go down because of the competition brought on by ACA.  

        I ain't shedding a tear for the IBEW over this one.

        We are all in this together.

        by htowngenie on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 08:52:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My brother works for UPS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Linda in Ohio

        He's IT, so this would affect him, if his wife worked. He says UPS's insurance sucks to begin with. They pay through the nose every time one of their kids has to go to the emergency room (because their PCP is never open when something happens). One other thing to note is that UPS is tacking on a surcharge for anyone covered by their insurance who smokes. My brother quit smoking several years ago, but his wife still smokes (though she claims she doesn't and thinks she's fooling everyone). He will get hit by that. So what's next, surcharges if you have any hobbies that they might consider risky? What if you ride motorcycles, or enjoy rock climbing? My brother has thought about going somewhere else, but UPS knows how to make leaving painful to their employees, so they know they can keep screwing them without repercussions.

    •  May the same thing happen to UPS (0+ / 0-)

      that happened to Big Brown, the horse, in the Belmont Stakes(Pulled up, did not finish)

  •  It's Midterm Season and There's a Senate To Be (6+ / 0-)

    retaken. This isn't the last time we'll see such a move.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:05:26 PM PDT

  •  I'm not sure if this is good or bad. (5+ / 0-)

    When I worked for the State, my insurance cost was $19 bi-weekly. If I added my daughter (she was my only dependent), it would have been $144 bi-weekly. I opted to self-insure her. Now my daughter is in the same position. She can be covered under her husband's employer-based insurance, but it's costly. And I don't know what to tell her about whether she would be eligible for Obamacare coverage since she has access to insurance already. Between the two of them, their income is probably low enough to qualify for a subsidy. Does anyone know if she is obligated to buy into her husband's policy, or can she opt to purchase her own policy under Obamacare?

  •  They should go on the exchange (0+ / 0-)
  •  UPS is unionized, or so I thought. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So I'm curious to know what was in the union contract.

  •  You might want to add a little bit (15+ / 0-)

    They're only excluding them because THEY ALREADY HAVE COVERAGE.

    Chances are they're covered under their own employer. Actually, I'd pretty much guarantee they are. They might not like that policy, so they decline it and go under their spouse's coverage. Or they get covered under BOTH, which happens more often than you might think.

    So UPS is going to not allow that anymore.

    Other places have done this as well, it's not new.

    •  A business I worked for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VirginiaBlue, mmacdDE

      excluded spouses with their own healthcare almost 20 years ago, so it certainly isn't new.

    •  Yes...the REAL story isn't the reduction in (7+ / 0-)

      coverage for already-covered spouses, it's the ridiculous bullshit of blaming the change on the Affordable Care Act.

      Disappointing, really. UPS has previously been a leader in such things as standing up for non-discrimination when it cut donations to the Boy Scouts of America over their anti-gay policy. Then they turn around and join in as another spewer of rightwing teabagger propaganda lying about "Obamacare".

      Why can't the company assert the same principled leadership role in promoting the benefits of the ACA rather than lying about it?

      "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

      by blue in NC on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 03:21:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  they're not 'blaming' it that is diarist's choice (0+ / 0-)

        of words

        shipping giant repeatedly cites the act to explain the decision,
        •  No, it wasn't just the "diarist's choice of words" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MRA NY, snazzzybird

          it was in the UPS memo that she blockquoted:

          Rising medical costs, "combined with the costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, have made it increasingly difficult to continue providing the same level of health care benefits to our employees at an affordable cost," UPS said in a memo to employees.
          It's a disgraceful bit of blame-shifting on the part of UPS.

          "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

          by blue in NC on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 04:27:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Atlanta Business Chronicle: UPS 'cites' Obamacare (0+ / 0-)
            •  so citing it as a cause is not blaming it? nt (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blue in NC

              "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

              by MRA NY on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 05:06:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I do wish these companies saying they are cutting (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blue in NC, Dodgerdog1

                back on hours, or benefits because of ACA would realize that there are some of us out here who have choices whether to buy their product or service, or look further, and all they are doing is nominating themselves for inclusion in a lot of "I'll never go there again' lists. I have not, for example, had pizza from a store which volunteered itself to be  publicly identified as changing employer conditions to avoid ACA, since the first one, IRRC Papa John's, did it.

            •  What is your point? The UPS memo is quoted (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              word-for-word in the Atlanta Business Chronicle article, and the diarist quotes that quote.

              UPS said it in the memo. Period.

              Why do you hold that against the diarist and imply that she is reporting the UPS memo inaccurately? I don't know what it is you don't like about this diarist, but I've found her to be one of the most scrupulously accurate diarists here.

              "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

              by blue in NC on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:41:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The word "combined" is the key (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blue in NC

            If I owned a business and wanted to cut my employee's benefits because of a 30 percent increase by my insurance carrier, and COINCIDENTALLY the new health care act added another ONE PERCENT, it would sound less greedy if I told the media it was "because of the higher costs of the new law."  Since my legal team may say it would be dishonest not to mention the other reason, I could say that the two factors COMBINED made me do it, without breaking it down into percentage points.

            They were looking for an excuse anyway, and the ACA made a reasonable sounding scapegoat.

    •  we always took both (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and in the old days you got reimbursed from both; but we took both for the kids, because some docs took my wife's and others took mine, and there was the whole birthday rule, what a fuck up of a system. My friends wife worked PT at UPS and the whole family got excellent coverage from them; she took a job with Rutgers which is state and the benefits are much less. Guess Christie took care of those 'cadillac' plans alright. Fuck if Christie becomes president( and there's a good chance of that ) he will roll this all back to the bad ole days. He'll try to, anyway. We need single payer.

      •  MY DH and I worked for the same employer (0+ / 0-)

        and were required to each have coverage for dental and vision for the family rather than being able to just have one premium.  However, rather than have two separate but equal insurance coverages, they would work it our so we would have about 1.2 worth of coverage.  The second plan would pay the 10% copay of a dental or vision visit and then not cover if we needed to go in for an extra cleaning or if we wanted to get extra glasses.  When we asked the providers office to submit them differently they said it wouldn't work because the company had the two linked.  So the company got extra premiums for very little extra coverage.

        Single Payer!!

        Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

        by Leftleaner on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 09:42:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  no, that's not true (0+ / 0-)

      They are ELIGIBLE for other coverage. Some may be covered by that other plan, but certainly not all.

      In any case, the change represents an additional cost for those workers' families, since "family" rates cost less than paying for two separate "single" coverages - the reason most workers with the choice opt for a single "family" plan.

      Reforms come from below. No man with four aces howls for a new deal.
      Keystone XL will raise gas prices!

      by Turbonerd on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 04:16:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But they might not be paying for it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mariachi mama

        If they have the option and their employer covers the bulk of the cost.

        Perfect example - where I work they cover the full cost for the basic HMO plan for the EMPLOYEE. However, if you're covered under a spouses plan, or some other insurance, you can waive the coverage and get a set amount in an fsa account.

        Some people would do that, because they liked the coverage their spouse had better.

        Actually, this might work out better for the spouse who's not being covered anymore, because they might wind up eligible for the exchange and/or a subsidy.

        •  I'm betting that one reason the spouses (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          are on the UPS plan in the first place is that their own employers are not "covering the bulk of the cost" . . .

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 05:18:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Usually not so. Employer pays hefty portion (0+ / 0-)

        Of the employee insurance but puts a larger share of cost of spouse/family onto employee.  That is why when both my wife and I worked, we each carried our own individual coverage. Way less expensive.  

  •  So this doesn't violate their union contract? (0+ / 0-)

    "President Obama is a global George Zimmerman because he tries to rationalize the killing of innocent children in the name of self defense." -- Cornel West

    by Sagebrush Bob on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:33:11 PM PDT

  •  As more and more companies (15+ / 0-)

    seek to divest themselves of healthcare cost, the push for Universal Care gets stronger, and attracts more support.

    It sucks if you are caught in the interim position, but expecting employers to be responsible for healthcare provision makes absolutely no sense at all.

    What they should be responsible for is a payroll tax (their payroll, not the employees), of around 10% of salary which can go to funding Medicare for All.

    While they are at it, they can divvy up some paid sick leave, and maternity leave.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:41:00 PM PDT

    •  exactly! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg, Heavy Mettle

      this move is to be celebrated.  more people on the exchange reinforces everything about the notion of federal involvement in health care.  that is one step closer to single payer.

      it's also true that u.s. companies are increasingly losing competitiveness against companies from single payer countries, where they are not burdened with such costs.  HR's work would be cut in half if they didn't have to deal with this crap.

      the sooner companies get out of providing health insurance bennies, the better for everyone.

      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

      by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:52:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's the only way to get people off (0+ / 0-)

        employer provided health insurance - gradually, and against their will

        this was planned, I have no doubt

      •  Not sure this applies to UPS (0+ / 0-)

        since their business requires them to hire "local" help in every country they serve.  But yes, for products that are by nature "exportable" we have been getting our clocks cleaned by countries with national health plans and comparable quality in the particular product line.

        Medicare for all, just like "socialized" fire, police, streets, schools and libraries.

  •  I used to not pay attention (11+ / 0-)

    but the last year or more we use USPS for as many shipping or other needs.

    Go ship something from your Post Office.

    •  My thought too (5+ / 0-)

      Does anyone have to use UPS? Ship USPS instead.

      Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

      by deben on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 03:05:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  For small items and small shippers, USPS is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZappoDave, Turbonerd

      faster, cheaper, and more convenient than UPS.

      Once the size exceeds the USPS flat-rate boxes and the shipping distance or weight increases, the cost differential shrinks.

      Also, big shippers of course get huge discounts from UPS that we mere mortals (the occasional ebay seller or grandma shipping a birthday present) don't get.

      "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

      by blue in NC on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 03:36:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually they work together (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue in NC, ZappoDave, Turbonerd, emal

        when I order yet another pair of shoes from the New Balance outlet, they ship it to UPS and then UPS ships it to the local USPS. I have no idea why but this is supposed to be better; it is not faster though.

        •  We get that too (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue in NC, leftangler

          not sure if it's a new thing -- but computer cords etc that we order for folks come UPS To USPS.  We're pretty rural and use a Post Office Box.

        •  No, often it is slower. It happened to me (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bryduck, leftangler

          last week! I ordered a truck part - it was being shipped from within my state, so the flat shipping cost was pretty steep considering.

          Anyway, it was shipped UPS/USPS on Thursday; tracking info showed that it arrived at the UPS terminal the next town over from me on Friday morning.

          Unfortunately, instead of being delivered by Big Brown, it was transferred to the Post Office and scheduled for Saturday delivery. Then, on Saturday, the substitute carrier didn't bother coming down my driveway to deliver, and left a "pick your package up on Monday" slip in my mailbox. Grrrrrr.

          Because using the USPS "every address" home delivery system cuts out the high-cost of home delivery for UPS, it is cheaper for the shipper to use this "split" system.

          Another time the exact opposite happened. UPS showed up in my driveway with two packages. One was marked for USPS fact, I knew it was being shipped by the split UPS/USPS method and was expecting it to come from my mail carrier. When I asked the driver why that was, he told me that if they have another delivery the same day at the same address, they'll bring the USPS one along too, rather than dropping it off at the post office. Evidently their computer system is sophisticated to pick up those "coincidences". Slick!

          "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

          by blue in NC on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 04:14:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  not an option for my business (0+ / 0-)

        Most of my customers have me ship ups and bill their UPS acct. Also they pickup and deliver to me every day.

      •  And some UPS parcels are actually delivered by the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue in NC the USPS.  I've been at the local PO when the UPS guy hands packages over to the USPS postmaster for local delivery to the far off reaches of the area.

  •  When will American industry grow up and realize (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JohnB47, blue in NC, snazzzybird

    a good health care program makes for happy, healthy and prosperious and dedicated work force.  Don't hurt your workers and injure your company long term.

    •  They don't care; it's about "profit" & bonuses for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, ranger995

      The evil senior management.

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 03:44:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly--when cutting payroll (0+ / 0-)

        is the "best" way of increasing profit margin and your biz acumen is then praised by a skyrocketing stock price, what is a CEO to do?
        Heck, they are almost always bound to do what's best for the stockholders (as opposed to anybody else) by the corporation charter, aren't they?

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 05:22:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And the stockholders (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          can be bamboozled like anyone else; what is better for this quarter's bottom line is not necessarily better for the next generation.  Of course, when the emphasis is on the stock PRICE rather than the stock DIVIDEND potential, speculators who buy and sell in 50 milliseconds do not care whether that company even LASTS 10 years beyond their "sell" order, much less pays a dividend.

          A long time ago, CAPITALISM was replaced by CASINOISM.

  •  Heartless Impacts - Pregnancy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Turbonerd

    Pregnancy is the most frequently encountered major medical expense for a working family. Meet Joe and Jane, working couple.

    Let us say Joe works at UPS, and Jane works at FedSux. Joe is white-collar and so his spouse would fall under the UPS policy, demanding she get covered elsewhere.

    Imagine that Jane becomes preganant, say, during late Spring of 2014.

    Jane will have to pay the deductible and co-insurances for the (often frequent) physician or OBGYN visits during 2014, covered by her FedSux policy until she elects to take leave. Let's say she takes that leave three months before the due date, in mid-October.

    What happens during FLMA is policy dependent however - maybe FedSux pays the same premium during FLMA, maybe not. In this example it isn't relevant to know, for practices vary from company to company.

    Say FedSux really does suck, and demands the presumptively returning (post-partum) Jane pay her entire premium until her return to the workforce - that is another big nut to carry. Adding Jane back onto Joe's policy at UPS might be fraught with delays, difficulties or be outright impossible - frankly I don't know the answer on that.

    Let's say UPS still has a tiny warm place left in their hearts and Joe can add Jane onto the UPS policy, within 2014,  after Jane takes leave from FedSux. Sounds all right but - yet another set of deductibles and coinsurances would have to be met. Effectively doubling the employee payment portion of the pregnancy tab.

    Then, in 2015, the two of them will be faced with the full freight for the pregnancy - and another set of deductibles and coinsurances. A fairly common added burden, and bad enough anyway.

    This is not a company policy designed to keep and attract the best workers. It is certainly not compassionate.

  •  The thing I still don't understand is how (0+ / 0-)

    ACA is going to affect me, (after all everything is about me, ask any teabagger).

    I asked Dr Google to find the answer, not much help, it was all
    love or hate Not any help understanding what the ACA means for those retired even that I have to have funds taken from my check each month for HC.

    Many would say check AARP, nope their site was of no help. Call my critters office, sure but I doubt a staffer has a clue.

    •  Many public libraries (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and librarians are delving into this question by attending webinars and reading up. Try contacting one of them . . .
      (Full disclosure: I am a public librarian.)

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 05:23:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cuts to employer provided insurance,,, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, ItsSimpleSimon

    are one of the many reasons we need a single payer systems completely apart from employment status.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 03:32:14 PM PDT

  •  I just got hired at a small security firm (0+ / 0-)

    I do corporate security and access for our company, and at the interview stage the owner stated that he dropped health insurance for all 22 employees due to Obamacare. I sat silently as he tried to explain it, then he kept stammering, and finally said-"Well no one is really affected by it, they are on their spouses policies". Which of course wasn't true. But the whipped up lies and negative meme over the ACA seemed to give this ahole cover for dropping health coverage.

    "Too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others" Robert F. Kennedy

    by realwischeese on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 03:34:21 PM PDT

    •  You're stronger than I am. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I could not have resisted pointing out that companies with fewer than 50 employees are not affected by Obamacare.

      •  yea, but I have been out of work too long (0+ / 0-)

        and this helps my family far more than the trouble of putting up with his politics. The govt/public security consultant and I are liberals, as I have found out, and rail against Walker and the idiot sheeple. Our company is in the process of adding hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to upgrade security at public schools across the area. Sad. But we are a local co., so it puts money in our pockets rather than the mega corporations out there.

        Oh, the boss knows the truth about the decision to drop health care. And none of the employees are on board. He's just an immoral greedy bastard. But I am working, paying my bills, and still have Badgercare, until I make enough to get off. But with new lowered income limits, that will be too soon. Gotta work.

        "Too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others" Robert F. Kennedy

        by realwischeese on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 04:36:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm glad you're working but hope you can get ... (0+ / 0-)

          something better before too long. That owner sounds like a real card. Bitching about government while suckling at the public teat of government contracts. Classic Republican.

  •  Cuts like these aren't new; my employer recently (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heavy Mettle, tardis10

    cut the same spouse/domestic partners who have their own employer-based insurance.

    Who do they think they are kidding?

  •  They have a bad biz model, part of that is (0+ / 0-)

    Blaming someone else for your failing. It is the evil RW conservatives MO.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 03:41:48 PM PDT

  •  I forgot; I use USPS, fuck UPS nt (0+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 03:43:03 PM PDT

  •  the spouses can go into the exchange (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heavy Mettle, Turbonerd

    and get a better deal.

    Alternative rock with something to say. Check out Global Shakedown's latest album, "A Time to Recognize": Available on iTunes/Amazon, or stream it at

    by khyber900 on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 03:53:50 PM PDT

  •  there's nothing wrong with this (0+ / 0-)
    Corporate America has discovered something really convenient (for them) about Obamacare:
    or this
    adding fuel to the debate over whether it erodes traditional employer coverage.
    that was one of the whole points - decoupling health insurance from employers who should not be providing health insurance. People freaked out about "losing" their employer health insurance when they learned about obamacare, that was one of the main objections (not that employers would voluntarily do it but that it would be required) and the figure of 70% being satisfied with their healthcare always cited. You can't have Medicare for all with employer provided health insurance so step one is to get rid of employer health insurance. hopefully it won't keep cutting into bottom lines so much giving the possibility for increases in wages for once  
  •  Please note only WHITE-COLLAR employees (0+ / 0-)

    were the ones getting shit on. Probably because when the Teamsters (who represent all the grunts) heard about this scheme they told UPS "If you try to do this to our members, oh, boy, will you have problems."
    Of course if true, I doubt you'll hear the media singing the praises of unions saving their members grief.

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

    by fourthcornerman on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 04:22:36 PM PDT

  •  This is (0+ / 0-)

    without a doubt, a response written by the insurers, who are losing profit with limits on the rise of premiums, who see it is a way to get new customers without corporate backing - dependents kicked off of corporate plans.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 04:36:28 PM PDT

  •  This is a common exclusion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mariachi mama

    in my experience administering employee benefits. Basically, the employer doesn't want that person's health care costs impacting their future premiums if they have access to their own health insurance. Generally this was from the spouse's employer. Some plans allow coverage under each spouse's employer, for example, with the spouse's employer plan being the primary coverage. However, that's becoming less common.

    I never dreamed a company would use it as a way to get out of coverage under the ACA.  What they seem to be saying is that even if a spouse is unemployed they cannot be covered under the UPS plan because they have their own coverage available under ACA.

    This could spread if UPS gets away with it because as I said, it's a common practice (but was in the past applied to an employed spouse).

    •  Actually it IS for employed spouses (0+ / 0-)

      The press release said it was for employees' spouses who are able to get insurance under their OWN employer.  It did not even address eligibility for Obamacare policies, and I am sure they wanted to do this for some time, but figured the timing and the PARTIAL blaming of Obamacare (they said the raise in premiums COMBINED with the ACA, but didn't say what the proportions were; probably 30 percent to the insurance company and 1 percent ACA) would (1) cover up the fact that they were already going to do it anyway (like Bush's WMD in Iraq story) and (2) give a bit of negative publicity to the ACA.

  •  Clarification (0+ / 0-)

    A couple of people have it right here. These are management jobs. Many are the people are the most loyal to the union busting part of the company. Even UPS clerks are union.

    Clearly this is still wrong,  but many of these people look down on the union, and now it's evident that they could have used a union themselves.

    Boycotting the company solely because of this action hurts union employees who have done nothing wrong.

    Take the high road.

    by esby on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 05:02:30 PM PDT

    •  "White-collar" |= "management." (0+ / 0-)

      Not necessarily, at any rate. Nowhere does the article say "management", but it is possible . . .

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 05:26:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most white collar (0+ / 0-)

        and especially "salaried" jobs like computer technology are CALLED "management" as a cheap way to boost employee egos and an excuse to order exhorbitant unpaid overtime.  This has been true at least since the 1960's, probably longer.  Like calling 2nd louies "officers," technically true but very thin on substance.

    •  Actually, the Teamster f'ed over UPS employees (0+ / 0-)

      years ago.

      Used to be when you got hired part-time by UPS (nearly all hourly workers start at part-time) you were eligible for insurance in 90 days. It was pretty much the only reason anyone would take the job, since it pays $8.50 per hour to start, has weird irregular hours and is backbreaking. (In most cases, you would load and unload semi-trailers in a non-climate controlled warehouse, and the primary goal was speed.)

      (And that starting wage did not change from when I worked for them in 1980 to when I went back to working for them in 2002.)

      Then the union cut a deal 8 years ago or so and NEW HIRES weren't eligible for insurance for a full year.

      Yeah, most employers don't offer insurance at all to part-timers, blah, blah, blah. The point is that the people with seniority happily fucked over the new hires. They were then, of course, surprised when management tried to squeeze the old timers out and work with mainly the cheaper new hires.  

  •  What was expected (0+ / 0-)

    from a Heritage Foundation plan?  People ARE aware that the system allows businesses to opt out of providing health insurance and pay a fine of $295 per employee per year, yes?  Do people think businesses aren't going to jump at the opportunity to pay less a year than they're currently paying per month?  People who have been in group plans for many many years, some all their lives, are going to find themselves chasing their tails through the maze of individual plans, all while being stunned with sticker-shock.  It won't be pretty, and will be one more lesson why trying to accommodate the demands of corporate America is a death trap for anyone who thinks progressive change can be brought from that direction.

    Clap On, Clap Off, The Clapper!

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 05:05:28 PM PDT

  •  Here are some numbers to ponder (0+ / 0-)

    UPS 2nd quarter 2013 operating profit: $1.74 billion

    UPS Obamacare "savings": $60 million.

    Way to look out for your employees, big corrupt business.

  •  Employers can't do health care at all SINGLE PAYER (0+ / 0-)


  •  Advocacy (0+ / 0-)

    PHNP is for medical professionals. HCAN is another helpful site. Easy site for contacts for elected officials and agencies is

    Edited letter, Physicians for a National Health Program (

    Re HR 676 from John Conyers:

    I write as a constituent to express my support for single-payer national health insurance and to urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 676, the “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act,” introduced by Rep. John Conyers Jr.

    Nearly 50 million Americans are uninsured. Even for those lucky enough to have insurance, rising costs and deteriorating coverage caused 55 percent to put off or forgo needed care last year because they couldn’t afford it, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Indeed, of the nearly 1 million Americans bankrupted by medical bills annually, more than three-quarters had insurance when they got sick. 48,000 Americans died last year for lack of accessible, affordable health care coverage. However, Congress receives health care courtesy of taxpayers who are denied the chance to buy affordable health care due to special interest funding in Congress. While Americans work and pay taxes, we are subject to corrupt Congress members who vote according to dictates of the insurance industry.

    Single-payer national health insurance, an improved Medicare for all, would save enough on administrative paperwork -- about $400 billion per year -- to provide comprehensive coverage to all Americans. It would provide full choice of doctor and hospital for patients, and free physicians from arbitrary and meddlesome insurance-company dictates regarding patient care. It would control the health expenses currently crippling our economy and provide for a wholesome revitalization of our democratic values.

    We urgently need more fundamental reform. Please join with the two-thirds of Americans who have expressed support for an improved-Medicare-for-all system and co-sponsor H.R. 676.

  •  stand still sheep, whilst I shear ye of yer wool (0+ / 0-)

    This was seen coming, publicly traded companies are REQUIRED BY LAW to maximize shareholder value.  Yes, the CEOs can go to prison for mismanagement, that is WHY they don't operate like charities.  So of COURSE any business will look for the least expensive way "out".  Check the you tube link for a personal experience with the ACA

  •  That's not all (0+ / 0-)

    My DIL's grandmother is a self-employed medical transcriptionist who works a lot with Duke University Medical... or did at least.  Until OBAMACARE put her out of a JOB!  Because it mandated that Duke put in an automated voice-recognition transcription system to cut costs.

    Uh... really?  Okay, maybe... the bill is certainly big enough and complicated enough to have included something like that.  But this is the hospital that installed the VR system -- not the insurance carriers it works with.  So I'm not seeing the connection.  Further, when you're talking about a system as complex as this it could take years to roll it out under the best of circumstances-- and when it has to be right or people die (the VR would have to be good enough to not drop a decimal point in a dosage, or mis-"hear" the name of a medication) it would be a long time in the vetting process.

    So.  There's either a provision in the ACA that nobody's talking about and Duke managed to field this system soup to nuts between 2009 and 2011, orrrr... Duke was planning to replace the contract transcriptionists well before Obama ever took office and this gave them a convenient scapegoat that allowed them to not have to look the now-unemployed contractors in the eye.

    Or perhaps there's another possible cause that I'm not seeing... Anyone?

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:23:39 AM PDT

  •  Insurance companies explanations for cost increase (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, spritegeezer

    Even before Congress passed it, some health insurers told their customers that premium increases were due to the companies having to prepare for Obamacare.  This was even though the law was intended to lower health insurance costs.    

  •  It's likely a silly trade off for UPS. Likely (0+ / 0-)

    there are UPS employees who use their spouses benefits in place of UPS' benefits. This can only lead to a trade off in costs across the board. UPS' health benefits appear to be pretty good however and might be hard for some to replace.

    “Never argue with someone whose livelihood depends on not being convinced.” ~ H.L. MENCKEN

    by shigeru on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 06:08:31 PM PDT

  •  These companies shouldn't blame Obamacare (0+ / 0-)

    for what they're doing but they can sure thank Obamacare for giving them the loophole to do so.

    "President Obama is a global George Zimmerman because he tries to rationalize the killing of innocent children in the name of self defense." -- Cornel West

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 06:08:55 PM PDT

  •  Are you kidding me (0+ / 0-)

    These people will stop at no distortion of the truth... The fun has JUST begun!


    by The Fritz on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 06:14:35 PM PDT

  •  I like to think that (0+ / 0-)

    These measures were put into the ACA for a reason.

  •  Having read more about this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this is nothing different that several other employers haven't been doing for years.

    Partly blaming the health law, United Parcel Service is set to remove thousands of spouses from its medical plan because they are eligible for coverage elsewhere.
    Duh... yeah, because they are eligible for coverage elsewhere.

    And the issue with that is what exactly?

  •  No more brown stains in my shorts. (0+ / 0-)


    Sadly, their brown collar workers belong to a union.

    An honest heart being the first blessing, a knowing head is the second..Jefferson's Letter to Peter Carr

    by JugOPunch on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 06:24:28 PM PDT

  •  There is so much bad information being spread... (0+ / 0-)

    on this thread I think it would be best to shut it down and post a story, by someone with a clue, about the "facts" being bandied about here.

    You have the right to remain silent. If you waive that right you will be accused of class warfare.

    by spritegeezer on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 06:59:40 PM PDT

  •  Complete Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

    Here's the thing about these companies cutting costs by squeezing on insurance costs.  Before this president took office, there was absolutely nothing that required them to offer insurance at all.  They decided to offer insurance in order to compete for employees and use ERISA to save on taxes while doing it.  But the didn't have to.

    So any company that currently offers insurance, and is clearly cutting costs during this prolonged recessionary period by skimping on coverage can't blame Obamacare.  They never had to offer insurance in the first place.

  •  Time for ACA II (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beelzebud, Amber6541

    I guess this just means it's time for ACA II. We need a publicly-funded healthcare system, where the federal government pays for all essential healthcare out of a progressive tax.

    Democrats need to put this on the table for the 2016 election, and they only need to have one slogan:

    No more corporate whining.
  •  But . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "... blaming the move on Obamacare despite the fact that the similar health reform law in Massachusetts led to a rise in employer health coverage and that the CBO has said that large employers would see only a very minor impact on premiums—that puts UPS in a league with low-wage restaurant chains like Olive Garden and Papa John's. Is that really where it wants to be?"

    It's where it IS.  UPS is just another large sociopathic corporate parasite, committed to profit uber alles.  There is no difference between them; any appearance that there is is simply the result of assiduous efforts on the part of public relations and marketing staff to obscure the facts.  There are no "good" corporations or "better" corporations in the long run.  They all operate under the same rules in the same field of play, and over time they will all race to the bottom of every moral and ethical scale because that race is a built-in requirement of the corporate mandate to value short-term profit over all other considerations.  Until we rewrite the laws chartering and structuring corporations to demand a rudiment of social responsibility, they can function in no other way.

    And as they have gained sufficient power over the laws through corruption and outright purchase of Congress to effectively prevent such rewriting, it will not occur unless the alternative is complete and utter destruction of the corporate rulership by other means.  An alien invasion or nuclear explosion comes to mind.  It takes a BIG stick to catch the attention of corporations with gross profits in the trillions of dollars.

  •  Cut benefits to make a political point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Of course, that does mean they won't get as good employees.  And of course, we can just boycott UPS to put them in their place.  It's not like there isn't FedEx and the Postal Service to go to.

    If they want to make a political point so much, they can afford to pay for it.

  •  How is Fedex on this? I usually ask for things to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    be delivered by UPS if I have a choice.  But with this, I might start trying Fedex.

  •  So now there are 15,000 new enrollees! (0+ / 0-)

    Yep, 15,000 wives and who knows how many kids will be able to use the marketplace for their healthcare.  No matter what the health conditions are for these folks, they cannot be denied.  UPS is gonna make Obamacare even more popular than it was!  The right wing is always the wrong wing, dumbasses all.

  •  I order quite a bit of stuff, (0+ / 0-)

    and always try to get it delivered by USPS.
    UPS and FedEx have both been on my s**t list for a long time. Problem is, some suppliers don't like to deal with USPS,
    not sure why.

    Severely Socialist 47283

    by ichibon on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 08:57:17 PM PDT

  •  Wifey's old job.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ....did this all the time as soon as the law passed.  Any bad thing was blamed on Obamacare.

    I am surprised this wasn't forseen, I remember predictions of it happening during the horrible period when the legislation was being crafted.

  •  Actually, the more that health insurance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is separated from having a job, the better IMHO. That way corporations won't care what happens with health insurance, so that's at least one player in the debate silenced.

    Women create the entire labor force.
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 12:40:58 AM PDT

  •  The issue is UPS offering BETTER benafits (0+ / 0-)

    than that of its peers.

    " The cuts affect the spouses of non-union U.S. workers who are eligible for health care from another source."

    Just a rather basic guess on why UPS is doing this.

    UPS is sick and tiered of picking up the slack for other under-serving corporations.

    Just a random made up situation.

    Bob works for UPS. Bob's partner works for shitty Walmart who is now going to offered shity health care.

    Under the old system UPS is picking up the slack for Walmart's sub-par treatment of its employees.

    UPS does not really want to do that... and really.. who can blame them?

  •  UPS (0+ / 0-)

    I wrote UPS and promised them we will find another way to ship.  I would be negligent if I used them again.  There are alternatives at least until the Republicans get rid of the Post Office.

  •  Remember: UPS didn't make this decision... (0+ / 0-)

    its executives did.  The people who run UPS decided to go this way, and not some other way.    We like to think of companies as sentient beings that make choices, but they aren't.  Everything a "company" does is based on a human choice of one course of action over another.  Every regulation in existence regulates humans who make decisions, not "business".  

    These executive get paid the big bucks precisely to be responsible.  And yet, all I hear from them are excuses.  Where's their personal responsibility?  Or is that just for us plebes?


    Every woman is the boss of what goes into her vagina, and what comes out. Not you, not me, not the GOP.

    by nominalize on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 11:15:33 AM PDT

  •  How much does the insurance really cost? (0+ / 0-)

    We usually don't know the employer cost of the insurance.  We know what is covered in our policies.  And we REALLY find out what isn't covered when we have claims.  Like $50 at the front desk every time I see a specialist, except for a post-op visit.  But the eye doc is a specialist, so when I had three major eye problems in the last year, that was $50 up front, plus the 20% of the rest of the bill.  Three other surgeries in 2012 came out to lots of up front costs before hand, then the deductible, then the 20%.  But hey, buy one, get two free.   I had to start over in 2013.  

     We knew we were paying about $250/month out of the pay check.  We had no idea of the employer's costs.  But then the job of 7 years ended, and we are on COBRA, which can cost up to 102% of the total insurance costs.  That's $1100/month that we are sending in.  Plus, I just had another surgery, so here we go again with the co pays, deductibles, and the 20%.

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