The Spark

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

Happy New Year?
What happened to my doctor?

Jan 10, 2005

Some Michigan auto workers have already discovered they don't have a doctor any more – at least not one their insurance will pay. Starting January 1, Blue Cross Blue Shield's Preferred Plus plan is cutting 1,300 doctors from the UAW health insurance plan. That's 10% of the plan's doctors.

This cut was negotiated as part of the September 2003 contracts, which were presented with promises that the "Contract Delivers on Health Care" and "Health Care Protected."

Not true! A year and a half later, the size of the health care concessions can now be seen: elimination of the traditional Blue Cross plan; near elimination of HAP, the longstanding HMO favored by many workers; cuts in prescription coverage and increased fees.

Auto workers are finding out the hard way what happens when you don't demand to see every line of fine print in the contract.