Monday, June 01, 2009

The axe has fallen...

the die is cast and perhaps the candle flickering at the end of the tunnel will burn bright again someday...

The crux of the meeting for me the other day was that when the new improved concession contract was approved that retirees would lose their dental and vision care; prescription copays would go from $11/20 for generic/namebrand to $25/50; there would be no more funding of ed drugs or pumps for acid reflux (thank goodness neither of those affect us personally). There are other changes, but they are smaller; those are "the big pills".

I'm still hoping to see some kind of health care reform that not only makes these points moot, but addresses all of our needs; 'til then I'll be muddling through grateful for what I have.

That contract was approved, btw, by about 72% and by all the plants, even the ones that knew they would be closed; it isn't like there was an alternative. By approving this before the filing of bankruptcy this morning, we were told that the judges can't alter the agreement and that we will get to keep our pensions.

The funding for our medical will be contingent on what the stock prices do as instead of the cash that GM was supposed to pay into the fund, set up in the last contract, for it to be taken over by the Union next year so GM was no longer liable for retiree healthcare has now been replaced with stock.

I spent yesterday walking among steam engines and reapers and other old farm machinery, taking a head count of how many it used to take to do things that are now done at the push of a button; I've watched those same changes transpire in my own life. I know I won't be the last.



I don't know the answers to it all! Do they lie in population control, better education, new technologies...?

I hope my grandkids see a brighter future than I do right now!

May the week be kind to each of you!

alan

p.s. For those who click on the photo, if you happen to notice "John Milner's Deuce Coupe" on Dillon's t-shirt, the irony isn't lost on me...

7 comments:

chrissie said...

That'sa real pain, Alan....

I suppose the expression "it could have been worse" is the most comfort you can get out of it....

Sad days...

chrissie
xxxxx

CrackerLilo said...

:'-( I wondered how you were holding up in all this. I wanted to nag you a little this morning, but decided to wait for you. I hope it's true, at least, that the vote will help you hold on to some benefits.

Dead machines break my heart. I know that peoples' usage, habits, and very ways of life go in them. But one thing I know for sure is that you, at least, aren't rusted and irrelevant yet. You, my dear, are far easier to repurpose than those machines. *hug*

Teresa said...

"don't know the answers to it all! Do they lie in population control, better education, new technologies...?"
All, and none, of the above.
After 30 years of engineering people out of the equation how could things have gone otherwise? Now it all must be re-engineered to put people first, with profit only incidentally important. We're not likely to see it in our lifetimes.

Riot Kitty said...

I don't understand why so many companies/plans/policies - including Medicare - consider vision and dental "optional" or "incidental" and omit them from coverage. As long as I don't need to see or open my mouth, I'll be fine, right?

Green tea said...

Our insurance has never included Dental coverage and those crowns have been costly.
We were lucky that overall we and the kids had pretty good teeth
Both Hubba and I still have the originals and their care hasn't come cheap.
At least none of our kids needed braces or we would probably still be paying for them.
We need single payer coverage in this country..

Anji said...

Though our system is different here in France we rely on very good back up insurance. Having said that there are frequent changes and more and more medicine has to be paid for in full; Fortunately they haven't started charging for glucose test strips - yet.

My dad would have loved your blog! As a boy helping out on the farm he probably would have come across something similar, but what he really loved were the working horses.

breathethenexhale said...

=( through all this news you still seem hopeful and positive. You make me smile and hope that something good comes out of this for you ...