Hey McD’s, we’re not loving it!


McDonald’s is threatening to drop its McHealth Care for employees, citing its current plan cannot meet the federal overhaul’s requirement that 80 to 85 percent of premiums be spent on benefits. The new provision’s intent aims to limit executive pay, marketing and other non-health related costs at insurance companies. But critics of the new law argue so-called “mini-med” health plans, like McDonald’s, can’t meet that threshold because of higher administrative costs due to employee turnover and low payout rates. McD’s health insurance only covers up to $10,000/year, hardly enough to pay for any serious illness.

Corporatists and conservatives would love to have you believe service workers losing their health care is an unintended consequence of flawed health care reform. In reality, it is evidence of a broken and unsustainable health care system the federal overhaul seeks to heal. It seems many insurance companies’ solution to an affordable policies mandate is to stop selling policies at all.

This may surprise you, but I actually support exempting these mini-med plans, for now. Ideally, McDonald’s should raise coverage limits, which could help it meet the federal threshold. But until a better fix is found, I would really like the person in the blue shirt to be able to go see the doctor rather than coughing all over my fries. Plus, I have to agree that in McDonald’s case the high employee turnover rates must truly impact administrative costs.

The real story here is the continued assault from the right on health care reform. They diluted and convoluted true reform to claim reform isn’t working. Again, they can’t have it both ways by only allowing half-measures then saying the measures don’t go far enough. Karl Rove wants you to believe that half of Americans oppose health reform and the Democrats got the reform they wanted. In reality, a new AP poll finds that Americans who think the law should have done more outnumber those who think the government should stay out of health care by 2-to-1. The reformers wanted universal coverage with a viable public option. If we had those reforms, the McDonald’s problem probably wouldn’t exist.