UPS Health Care Cuts a Canary in Coal Mine: Fulmer

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Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Northeastern University's Terry Fulmer comments on UPS's decision to drop health benefits for 15,000 of its workers’ spouses. She speaks with Adam Johnson on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)

They say that part of the reason is that president obama's health care reform law.

Joining us is dean of the college of health sciences at northeastern university.

I am curious to get your take off of that.

What was the first thought they came to your head?

All of us find it striking and important to follow a company with such impact as ups.

What does this mean for families and children?

If you look at what is going on, they won't be covering spouses.

It is not mandated by obamacare.

Children will not be affected.

No one is losing health care, if we understand correctly, ups is saying that if you are employed elsewhere, married to someone that works for ups and you can get your healthcare elsewhere, you should go there.

I think that hunger station is going on.

It is not in the spirit of what we were hoping and we will have to watch it closely.

It could be more expensive because when you have family coverage, it might be less than if you and i each got insurance individually.

What is your take on what is going on here from the point of view of ups?

Every company will be looking for ways to save, the issue in front of us of inflation and healthcare costs, they are going to be looking for ways to cut those costs.

They are the canary in the coal mine.

It is really healthcare provided by an employer going back to world war ii when there were price raises in place.

It you could not give raises so you gave people healthcare.

I think that is the debate in front of us.

Single people say this is not an issue for me.

This is about married couples.

You'll hear some debate about whether or not it is discriminatory.

What is the downside?

The downside is that we don't have a clear sense of what the impact will be on overall total costs.

We want to be thinking about coverage and we want to be thinking about families.

If we are in the same family and we have different healthcare providers and different hospitals, it can potentially be disruptive to the way in which we have been thinking about care with families.

October 1 is the deadline for health exchanges to be in place and only half the states have them.

October 2, we will continue to get healthcare.

I think the exchanges will continue to sort themselves out.

Anybody that goes into an emergency room, people need to follow it closely.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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