WHAT’S GOOD FOR GENERAL MOTORS….General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner is almost ? but not quite! ? ready to support universal healthcare in America:
So what are the fundamental challenges facing American manufacturing? One is the spiraling cost of health care in the United States. Last year, GM spent $5.2 billion on health care for its U.S. employees, retirees and dependents ? a staggering $1,525 for every car and truck we produced. And the figure is going up again this year. Foreign auto makers have just a fraction of these costs, because they have few, if any, U.S. retirees, and in their home countries their governments fund a much greater portion of employee and retiree health-care costs.
….Some say we’re looking for a bailout. Baloney ? we at GM do not want a bailout. What we want…is the chance to compete on a level playing field. It’s critical that government leaders, supported by business, unions and all our citizens, forge policy solutions to the issues undercutting American manufacturing competitiveness.
It’s obvious that the “level playing field” Wagoner is talking about would include the government taking over healthcare costs for GM’s employees. And presumably, the only way to do this would be for the government to also take over everyone else’s healthcare costs as well. In other words, universal healthcare.
But even though he’s staring into the abyss of financial self-destruction, Wagoner isn’t quite willing to support that. He’s willing to imply it, but he can’t quite step up to the plate.
Give him another few months, though, and I’ll bet he will.
Via Professor Bainbridge, who agrees that this is what Wagoner is ever so gingerly leading up to.