The GOP's opposition to universal health care may take a hit as its Big Business patrons feel the bite
of soaring costs.
If Rick Wagoner can't sleep at night, it could be because he's thinking about the escalating cost of health care.
General Motors Corp.'s chairman and chief executive officer said his company's health care costs worry him more than other problems, including the automaker's slipping market share and the strength of its competition.
"I don't feel good about health care costs. I don't feel good about what it does to our profitability," Wagoner said at the North American International Auto Show Sunday.
Analysts say he's got reason to fret.
With health care costs rising by double-digit percentages annually, health care has emerged as a major concern for all industries. But GM's case is more dire: The company supports the health needs of 170,200 active workers and 430,000 retirees [...]
Wagoner has proposed partnering with the government to offset some of that expense. But he knows that will be a tough sell.
"What are the odds of getting the government to cut me a $1 billion check because we have health costs to cover? Not great," he said.
And the government shouldn't cut GM that check. Corporate welfare and all. Especially since they're not alone with this problem.
But GM wouldn't have to shoulder that expense if its workforce was otherwise covered. Say, by the U.S. government.
The dynamics are headed in that direction. The GOP will claim that tort reform is the answer, but even Wagner admits that would only save them 1-2 percent.
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