"The newly enacted health care reform legislation, while intended to expand access to care for millions of uninsured Americans, is also adding cost pressure as requirements of the new law are phased in over the next several years," wrote Rick Stephens, Boeing's senior vice president for human resources.
Boeing is the latest major employer to signal a shift for its workers as a result of the legislation, which expands coverage to more than 30 million uninsured people and ranks as President Barack Obama's top domestic achievement. Earlier, McDonald's had raised questions about whether a limited benefit plan that serves some 30,000 of its employees would remain viable under the law. That prompted the administration to issue McDonald's a waiver from certain requirements under the law.
Spokeswoman Karen Forte said the Boeing plan is more generous than what its closest competitors offer, and the company was concerned it would get hit with a new tax under the law.
The tax on so-called "Cadillac" health plans doesn't take effect until 2018, but employers are already beginning to assess their exposure because it is hefty: at 40 percent of the value above $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for a family plan.
The fact that so many will shoulder undue financial hardship under this law shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, even the left-wingers who jammed it through Congress despite overwhelming public opposition. That's because it isn't whether the plan will work — except for the most dreary-eyed liberal idealist all know it won't. But in the left-winger's world, it's not about whether something works — if that was the case, they'd be free-marketers — it's about whether something seems "fair" to those they perceive have less. Better to "even things out" or "spread the wealth around" than to have a system that works, if only to punish achievement.
Candidate Obama admitted as much when he acknowledged low capital gains taxes work, but told ABC News, "it wasn't fair." It's pretty safe to day there are about 90,000 Boeing workers who are thinking things aren't fair for them right now.