The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Shrinking Retiree Health Care

Aug 1, 2016

In 2015, only 23% of large firms offered retiree health plans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. This is a strikingly low coverage rate when compared to 1988 when 66% of large firms had active health coverage for their retirees.

This 66% coverage was not enough back then. But now, if you retire and are lucky to get some health coverage afterwards, you belong to a rapidly shrinking minority. Above all, even if you get a retiree’s health coverage today, this is not a sure thing for the future. If this trend goes on as it is, workers’ children will get no coverage during their work or retirement life.

Getting less or no health care takes its toll on workers. The richest one percent of people lives 14.6 years longer on average than the poorest one percent of people, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). So, not only does money talk, but it aids human beings to live longer.

These are the largest and the richest companies in the world that treat their workers so terribly. U.S. corporations’ total after-tax profits was around seven trillion dollars in 2015, up from one trillion in 1998, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED). So, while these corporations were cutting their workers’ health benefits, their profits were skyrocketing.

Only workers’ labor creates this immense wealth. But the corporations take this wealth from workers and, after using their labor, dump the workers to die quickly on their own. This is the class war waged by corporations and their rich owners against the workers. And unless we fight against them, our lives will be squeezed out of our bodies early by these brutes.