Thank Obamacare for Funding Early Retirement Health Benefits for Procter & Gamble, Kroger, & Other Private Companies! And a Bunch of Public-Sector Workers!

Remember back in the day when Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged Congress to pass health-care reform so that we could find out what was in the furshlugginer bill?

Here's one more nauseating outcome of that mentality: The Affordable Health Care and Reform Act includes a provision to subsidize coverage for early retirees in the public and private sector who quit working but aren't old enough to qualify for Medicare:

The $5 billion Early Retirement Reinsurance Program is a little-known provision of last year's health care reform law that was designed to encourage companies to provide health care to early retirees, which are people who retire in their 50s or early 60s before Medicare benefits kick in at age 65....

The program was supposed to run until 2014, when major aspects of the health overhaul law kick in, including a ban against insurers denying coverage for a pre-existing health condition. Many people between 50 and 64 have health issues that can make it difficult to get affordable coverage on their own, according to the administration.

The early retiree program, however, stopped accepting applications in May after spending roughly half its funds in less than a year. It could run out of money next year unless Congress approves additional funding.

Who could have seen that coming? You offer a pile of free (i.e. taxpayer!) money for public and private companies and their workers to cash out - and they do! So who's snagging the benefit so far? The Cincinnati Enquirer focuses on its area in this account:

The program has paid out nearly $142 million to 64 Ohio employers as of June 10. About half went to the Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio. Procter & Gamble, which makes household items like detergent and diapers, received $6.6 million - the most of any company in Ohio. Cincinnati Bell got $1.9 million; Western and Southern Life Insurance Company got $1.1 million; and supermarket giant Kroger got $678,167....

Nine employers in Kentucky received $65 million, although most of that amount went to state government, which got $63.4 million. Some 63 employers in Indiana received about $16 million, including Columbus-based Cummins, which got $3.4 million, the most among all recipients in the state....

Outside the Tristate area, some corporations have received even larger payments. Telephone services provider AT&T has received $141.5 million, more than any other private company. Verizon ranks second with $91.7 million, followed by GE's $36.6 million and Boeing's $34.1 million.

In a world where most of us will be working for more years than we ever expected, is there any group in America less sympathetic than early retirees? Yes, there is: That golden subset of early retirees who get part of their cashout covered by taxpayers for no good goddamn reason. We're talking a three-year gap here before the even more idiotic and overreaching aspects of Obamacare kicks in. Folks who choose early retirement in this interstice should either suck up the insurance costs on their lonesome or grind out a few more years of work.

Read the full account here.

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  • sarcasmic||

    Is it just me or does Pelosi look like a blowup doll in that pic?

  • ||

    It's not just you.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    Five bucks says her vagina actually has a dewlap.

  • Harry Reid||

    That's $5 I owe you, then.

  • Destrudo||

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to experience my breakfast a second time.

  • Contrarian P||

    It's not just that pic.

  • Episiarchs Dad||

    I'll admit it: it just moved a little.

  • Sinic||

    So the generation most responsible for piling up the national debt gets subsidized early retirement now? The government must be trying to make death panels more palatable.

  • ||

    As long as it's Baby Boomers getting killed, I'm in favor.

  • ||

    Second. Every day I get closer to endorsing some kind of Logan's Run solution.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Plus, they cashed in on the housing ponzi scheme, selling their homes after they appreciated 1,000%.

  • <Scapegoat!||

    It's always somebody else's fault. Handy!

  • ||

    I guess this is what Obama was talking about when he said we should redistribute wealth.

  • purple||

    I don't see it. Must be because I'm not into grannies.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Fucking boomers. Worst. Generation. EVER.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The program has paid out nearly $142 million to 64 Ohio employers as of June 10. About half went to the Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio.

    Nine employers in Kentucky received $65 million, although most of that amount went to state government, which got $63.4 million.

    Wow. Who could have POSSIBLY seen this coming from a mile away?

  • Tolly||

    No, she's pulling off the double-fisted money shot in that picture.

    Which is nice, but I'd rather see her being beaten with rubber hoses. Is it any wonder this law is even more of a nightmare? More money siphoned off the public tit and the people who need it the least are the first ones in line at the trough.

    I can't tell if the media is starting to notice the shine coming off their golden boy or not. I do notice a lot of articles out now along the lines of "Can Obama regain the magic & enthusiasm of his 1st campaign?". But then they dance around the horrible shitty trend things are on and only talk to disillusioned hipsters who are realizing they got conned.

  • ||

    The truth can only be suppressed for so long. I predict that as time for implementation of most of the law's measures draws closer, more and more people will realize what a POS it is and there might be a shot at repealing it.

    BTW what do you think that dude in the pic is doing with his right hand?

  • hazeeran||

    Can't ... unsee ...

  • ||

    This of course just goes along with the larger issue we have in society in which people have decided no one over fifty is employable. We ought to be punishing people for early retirement. We ought to be strictly enforcing age discrimination laws. People live longer, more productive lives. We can't afford to have them quitting early and going on the government dole for twenty or more years regardless if it is because they chose to by getting a fat early retirement or they have no choice after being laid off and unable to find a new job.

  • ||

    Actually, people over fifty are doing relatively well finding jobs in the current economy, at least compared to recent graduates.

  • ||

    I would like to see the statistics on that. I keep reading horror stories about middle managers and the like being laid off and being essentially unemployable.

  • kinnath||

    Who needs middle managers?

    The market for middle-aged engineers is very strong. The expectation is that half of all senior engineers will retire in the next 10 years or so. And graduation rates for new engineers are dropping off.

    So looks like I'll be able to stay gainfully employed for another 20 years of so (retiring in my early 70s).

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: kinnath,

    Yeah, as long as you're an engineer. I wonder how well middle-aged liberal arts majors are doing?? Or phone sanitizers?

  • kinnath||

    Middle managers are employable, but not as middle managers. Technology is flattening organizations (has been for two decades). I don't have alot of sympathy for people who were not smart enough to recognize this slow-motion train wreck.

  • ||

    Alot of companies are struggling to keep older people from retiring because the pensions incentives are way too high on the boomers. Boomers at my company would be taking a haircut by working past a certain date when essentially their pension freezes because of a change in company pension policy that they were grandfathered in from. Of course their retirement doesn't mean they stop working, they just stop working for my company. I imagine quite a few large companies suffer from this.

  • kinnath||

    My company made major changes to the pension program about 10 years ago (switching from defined benefits to defined contribution). People employeed at that time get to retire under the old program if they meet certain qualifications prior to some milestone in the not so distant future. We can expect a mass exodus in the next couple of years.

  • bikerider||

    I've been hearing about the upcoming flood of retirees (always "in the next few years") and the resulting labor shortage since the late 90's.

    I'm not holding my breath waiting for it.

  • ||

    Folks who choose early retirement in this interstice should either suck up the insurance costs on their lonesome or grind out a few more years of work.

    Wait- are you trying to say people should independently cover the costs of their health care and/or insurance?

    You monster.

  • Old Mexican||

    The early retiree program, however, stopped accepting applications in May after spending roughly half its funds in less than a year.


    That was 2-1/2 years before when it was scheduled to be phased out. Word of mouth about free money sure runs fast among the freeloaders.

    It could run out of money next year unless Congress approves additional funding.


    A government program costing more than originally planned?

    Say it ain't so, Shoeless!!

  • ||

    If you could make a plasticine reproduction of Nancy's fist, you'd have a hell of an ice scraper for your windshield.

  • Old Mexican||

    Caption contest:

    "By the way... That's not his wife!"

  • American Patriot Jumbo Doormat||

    Just like that and the balls go right in every time!

  • Old Mexican||

    In a world where most of us will be working for more years than we ever expected, is there any group in America less sympathetic than early retirees? Yes, there is: That golden subset of early retirees who get part of their cashout covered by taxpayers for no good goddamn reason.


    Why do you hate the rich old people so much, Nick? Why?

    And there is a goddamned reason why: So they can chant in unison "Gracias, Senor Presidente!"

  • Pantless Deviant||

    Kudos to Nick for incorporating the word "furshlugginer."

  • Old Mexican||

    The arrow in her sign ("A New Direction For America") is missing

  • O2||

    "That golden subset of early retirees who get part of their cashout covered by taxpayers for no good goddamn reason."
    _

    lesee, older folks retiring early means...wait for it...unemployed folks getting hired ! one economist i read said to LOWER the SS full retirement age for the same [REASON].

  • the real O2||

    well, this will only be needed until the wealthy [JOBZ] creators create [JOBZ].

  • sarcasmic||

    No it doesn't.
    More often than not when older folks retire they retire from a position that require skills and institutional knowledge.
    Unless the unemployed person has those skills and knowledge, they will remain unemployed.
    More often what happens is the retiring person's responsibilities are spread out to existing employees, and no new people are hired.

  • ||

    In a world where most of us will be working for more years than we ever expected, is there any group in America less sympathetic than early retirees?

    Pubsec retirees, many of whom retire early, at benefits levels others can only dream of, completely financed (one way or another) by taxpayers?

  • NoVAHockey||

    those retirees then get rehired as contractors.

  • Roger Murdock||

    It's crap like this that will slowly make the case for reform.

    Like the welfare queen stories. They take traction because most everyone at one point or another has been behind someone in line buying with food stamps (now EBT cards) and immediately starts scrutinizing their purchases. Then comes the contrast with what you can or cannot afford in your basket. Then you pay attention to the type of phone their talking on, etc. And, of course, the story eventually gets embellished to the point that they go out and climb into some ridiculously priced car.

    It all starts with the WTF? I can't afford Product A, and he/she's got a handful in their basket.

    Class Warfare can work both ways.

  • ||

    those guys really seem to know exactly what the deal is. WOw.

    www.anon-stuff.at.tc

  • Jennifer||

    I lost the envelope on whose back I scrawled these calculations, but -- here in Connecticut (total population 3.5 million), the average public-sector pension benefit for one year (payment only, not counting health and other bennies) costs the full annual state income tax bill of 16 median four-person households -- that's 64 people, out of a population of 3.5 million. So if we want to fund the pensions without raising taxes, all we have to do is -- wipe out every single state government expenditure except the pensions.

    IF the state's going to pick up the tab for private pensions on top of it, we'll run out of cash as surely as the Soviets did.

  • Canman||

    And they say libertarianism is based on selfishness!

  • Or||

    I thought libertarianism was based on doing whatever you feel like doing without anyone having the power or authority to tell you you that you can't. You know, the toddler's conception of a perfect world.

  • ||

    Then you thought wrong.

    See, also, "personal responsibility".

  • sarcasmic||

    Freedom means not having to take orders or ask permission as long as you do not do anything criminal.

    I don't know why that is so difficult to understand.
    Unless you want to be the person who issues orders and gives permission, in which case you're a control freak who should do the world a favor and kill yourself.

  • sevo||

    "I thought libertarianism was based on doing whatever you feel like doing without anyone having the power or authority to tell you you that you can't. You know, the toddler's conception of a perfect world."

    No great surprise. Brain-dead lefties live in an insular world and have no realistic concept of other views.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    I thought

    Prove it.

  • DA||

    Wow, there was a lot of vitriol in that last paragraph from Nick. Not that I blame him. It's going to take a lot of drinking to wash my cynicism away.

  • Well||

    Cynicism is an axiom in libertarian metaphysics.

  • sevo||

    What could possibly go wrong?
    "It could run out of money next year unless Congress approves additional funding."

  • Sinic||

    It could run out of money next year unless Congress approves additional funding.

    Not a bug, a feature.

  • ||

    WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN

    Congress and the White House should stop squandering the people’s money. There are many ways to “cut as detailed herein” and use savings to improve quality of basic invested entitlements. Congress should transition to an improved medical system. Vote opponents to this “out”. Citizens come first.
    It is time the U.S. reduces human rites and police activities for the World by lobbying the United Nations, NATO and Interpol to “take on more”. 800 bases in 63 countries across the world should be reduced. Examples are fewer forces in, Bosnia, Germany, Philippines and Okinawa.
    Starting with Iraq, only train for self reliance. In Afghanistan train and diminish corruption by requiring accounting practices for aid, substituting minerals mining and food crops for drugs. $34 billion lost in service contracts. Its time for oil producers to pay for military supplies and consulting.
    Cut bloated federal bureaucracy and expenses. Combine CDC, EPA and FDA. Combine the FAA, NHTSA and DOT. Combine GAO and CBO. Eliminate “must spend all”. Return “unused” yearly budget to the treasury. Cut budgets (other than entitlements) on an average of 10%. Implement GAO’s report to Congress on eliminating duplication, overlap and fragmentation in 81 of the federal government’s departmets, agencies, programs, offices and initiatives.
    Eliminate all 32 czars Mr. President. Reduce your 469 member staff which makes nearly 39 million per year! Halt first lady $180,000 air force one vacation trips. Stop “multi million dollars per day” presidential-family foreign trips.
    Contribute to only one of: The World Bank or International Monetary Fund or U.S. Agency for International Development.
    Reduce foreign aid bribery. For example, no aid to oil rich -Iraq. Halt $150 million aid to Palestinians. Slash $1.3 billion annually to Egypt and Pakistan!
    Charge bailed companies (TARP) for their huge executive bonuses at taxpayer expense. Government should sell shares to recoup for taxpayer. Billions still owed?
    Congress should reduce “stimulus” expenditures by halting over budget and vote bribery “earmarks”. Example: Stop “cow burp” and “drug smoking monkey” studies. Take back $13 billion unspent in states. Eliminate subsidies or tax credits that smell “earmark”. Congress should not pay student loans for their staff or family from their operating budgets. Please- no renting of private or military aircraft. An example was Pelosi’s family of $2.1 million for over 2 years. Congress should set commercial travel cost standards and controls.
    Reduce medical cost by: allowing purchasing in any state, “tort reform”, and reducing “red tape”. Reduce Medicare fraud by expediting billing cost speed, and doctor/patient screening of state controlled local provider groups.
    Congress should enforce existing immigration laws and implement “no illegal birthrights”. Entitlements or benefits should be for only citizens. Deport criminal “illegals”. Only deportees and workers on Visa/Guest Programs qualify for needed medical benefits. Complete an improved fence. 56% of this border is uncontrolled.
    Corporations and retirees should receive tax reductions for healthcare plans.
    These actions will improve funding for:” Medicare”, “Medicaid, and “Veteran’s Affairs”.
    Healthcare quality can be at least that for Congress or the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Additional benefits are: dental coverage, improved visual coverage, no drug “donut hole”, no pre-existing conditions, no deductibles and co-pays except for extended skilled level nursing.
    Other benefits are aid for unemployment compensation and Social Security with reinstated cost of living increases.

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