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

Ask Most UAW Retirees on the VEBA

Sep 14, 2015

There was a front-page article in the local paper about the VEBA for UAW retirees’ health care saying it was a great success. Really?!! Ask any UAW retiree, and most of them will tell you how they are paying more out-of-pocket every year.

More than $100 is deducted every month from their check for Medicare B, which used to be paid for by the companies–no longer. They have to pay a deductible amounting to $1,395 in network and $5,500 out of network per family per year before most procedures are covered. They pay a premium every month, which they didn’t pay before. Prescription costs are higher even for generics–and much higher for non-generics, even when there is no generic version.

They pay larger co-pays to see their doctor or pay a “facility fee,” or both–which they didn’t pay before. The dental and vision covers less. All told, they pay $200 a month more out of pocket–at a minimum, if they have very few prescriptions.

What kind of success is this for auto workers?

And the VEBA is still badly under-funded. (60 billion dollars is currently in the VEBA when 88 billion dollars is needed for current and future retiree health care costs.) The VEBA is always dependent on investments in things like the stock market. What happens when the stock market takes a big hit, like it did recently? It was reported that the GM VEBA lost 252 million dollars when GM stock went down a couple weeks ago.

The VEBA was a horrible concession when it was negotiated and it is a horrible plan today. Any attempt to tell people differently is just a piece of pure company propaganda.