The bailout of the automakers
General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are now standing in line for their share of the bailout money. For the first time, Congress is actually discussing imposing conditions. Some would like to require that the money be used to design and build vehicles providing higher mileage and less pollution. Most of the recipients have been receiving the bailout without any real conditions.
I have a simple proposal. No cash bailout. Instead, I suggest we address the number one reason why American automakers are not competitive in the world market: health insurance. Medical costs add an estimated $1500 to the cost of every American automobile. I suggest that the employees of the three automakers be included in the same federal health insurance plans as federal government employees. I would also include the members of congress in these same plans. My proposal would be the first step in implementing national health insurance for all Americans. This proposal would make the three automakers competitive in the world marketplace. The foreign automakers do not have to pay this cost because their employees have national health insurance.
I prefer to provide help in a way that changes the economics of the manufacture of automobiles. This would create real change that makes it more likely that General Motors, Ford and Chrysler survive as automakers.
My two cents.