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Government must act




The federal government has declared open season on older folks in a desperate attempt to save health-care coverage for younger retirees. Companies can now, with Uncle Sam’s endorsement, openly discriminate against those 65 and older by cutting their health benefits, shoving them off to Medicare, whether they like it or not.

Endorsing age discrimination is just wrong and presents a slippery slope for employers to use age to discriminate for all kinds of reasons that are now still illegal. …

While we understand employers’ bottom-line concerns, legalized discrimination is untenable. This EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) ruling could also leave family members of older retirees without coverage. So a 65-year-old would be covered by Medicare but not his 60-year-old wife and his 12-year-old son. And taxpayers are the ones who will end up paying for employers who break their benefits promises.

Health insurance is the most important domestic issue facing the country, and it’s time the government addressed the problem comprehensively, not this patchwork approach. The ruling shows how critical health-care reform is and how emotionally charged the issue has become.

– Chicago Sun-Times


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