An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Jim’s expanded posts on Gannett’s health care plan changes is a bit comical as he acts as if he didn’t think they’d go up because of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which in reality is anything but to those who’ve long paid attention to what was coming.Get ready.
I think Jim is making a commendable effort to shed light on a confusing topic that is further muddled by typical jargon-speak from Gannett executives. Posts that are solely meant to criticize Jim or, in your case, pat oneself on the back for being more brilliant than the rest of us working peasantry, make the poster look bad, not Jim. How about we all take a deep breath and how about we cut each other some slack? We're all in the same boat as regards medical insurance. We need to help each other understand the new plan and we need to not be mean to each other.
Well said 11:34
@11:34 – Had Jim not squashed most comments regarding Obama Care (he even used to spike all comments using that term) long ago, you might have a point. Unfortunately, his political leanings got in the way of an honest discussion of it. Frankly, too many at Gannett and this industry are only now learning about Obama Care’s “costs” (costs Jim still seems oblivious too), information they would have known had some fulfilled their journalist duties by pushing back when all of America was told that it would see what was in the bill when it passed….via reconciliation.That’s the point, so save the “what difference does it now make” approach as it does.
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Commitment to local coverage is another empty Gannett slogan. Example: a Greyhound bus crashed last week on interstate 75 in a county north of Cincinnati. One advantage the Enquirer always had over its competitors was having a bureau there. The office still exists but now sits empty. Why? Because the editor reassigned those reporters to downtown Cincinnati for reasons unexplained. Perhaps to fill in the embarrassing gaps in the office their editor spent so much time and expense redesigning. Sooooo...guess who WASN'T first on the scene? And guess who keeps on getting their asses handed to them by wcpo.com? That's the site that's actually committed to local news while the Gannett "L.I.C." is structured to feed its editor's vanity.
Same thing in Wisconsin where TV regularly beats us in our own backyard. It's an embarrassment when we used to lead on everything, and now we trail on just about everything. The advertisers and (dwindling) subscribers have noticed.
Washburn knows as much about news as she does nuclear engineering. The worst editor I've ever seen. She'd probably go catatonic if she ever had to cover anything herself. But heck, she has all that time back in her redesigned office to second guess everyone.
Jim I am on a Gannett retiree medical plan. I called Gannett today to find out just how the new medical is going to effect me and was told that they did not have that information at this time.
That's because they won't know until October 1st when Obama care takes affect. It comes to me as no surprise that your deductibles will be higher. As Jim said, the company is putting more emphasis on employee contributions. What is scarier is making decisions based on your health now, because one never knows what will happen tomorrow. But knowing Gannett and how they treat their employees, it's not such a big surprise you'll be paying more. Are we forgetting the last 5 years of no pay raises and furloughs? Yet the Board always seems to take care of themselves. Enough said !
Everyone is paying more for health insurance. Your venters' bid to blame Gannett is silly.The venters: They have little fact behind their vents.
As anyone could have predicted, and as many did predict, Obamacare would bring huge new costs. I agree, it's silly for people to act surprised.
Blaming Obamacare for Gannett's poor treatment of employees is not based in reality. Gannett often looks for ways to cut company expenses at the employees expense.
Yeah, stipulations like covering dependents up to age 26 probably don't cost a bit more. Nobody could've seen that coming.It isn't just Gannett. This country wanted Obamacare, and it's getting it.
3:00pm, this country wanted nationalized health care. Our representatives and the drug companies, and insurance companies replaced that with Obama Care.
"this country wanted nationalized health care"No, it most certainly did NOT (nor did it want Obamacare, which is designed to fail).
4:56PMWell, "Obama care" was a major issue during Obama's reelection campaign, so based on that, the prior statement about the country wanted nationalized health care, that makes it a true statement.Those who have healthcare right now (lucky us), are the ones complaining the most about the changes. The spirit of national health care is, that everybody should be covered under some form of insurance, not just those of us who already have it.
Well said, 4:11. This "plan" is corporate's F.Y. to Health Reform (F Them) they can afford this, we cannot. Just took a $6, 000 paycut, ouch.
What the country and Gannett want is affordable healthcare with better outcomes. The U.S. spends far more per capita on health care than any other industrialized nation.But that hasn't translated to the best care, according to MarketWatch, the financial news site owned by Dow Jones and Fox Business News. (I source those two sites to show these aren't left-wing news organizations.) Here's the data:U.S. health expenditure per capita: $8,508. Life expectancy: 78.7 years.The U.S. was by far the largest spender, totaling an unmatched 17.7% of GDP. Just two other nations surveyed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development -- Mexico and Chile -- joined the U.S. in covering less than half of all medical expenses through public funding. Still, the cost of health care in the U.S. was so high that public expenditures on health still amounted more than $4,000 per person, trailing only Norway. Also, while 90% of residents reported they were in “good” health, the most of any OECD nation, the U.S. led all member nations in obesity by a sizable margin, and had a life expectancy at birth of only 78.7 years—lower than 25 of the 34 OECD nations. The next highest spender was Norway, at $5,352 per capita. And it's life expectancy is 81 years. What's more, after its neighbor, Denmark, Norway has the most nationalized health care system in the developed world.
Jim removed my post early this morning. So I will try again. This is a huge issue. Americans have no clue how much this is going to take out of their pockets. Based on the posts today, our colleagues have no clue what is about to happen nationwide. Unlike Gannett, companies are dumping their health plans, reducing hours so they don't have to provide benefits and removing spouses from their plan eligibility because they have plans where they work. And it is just the top of this incredible iceberg. Jim, your readers want information. It is obvious they/we don't have an understanding of The AHCA. Help them. You used to be a business reporter. Be one again
I truly don't understand which part of the line below the name of this blog says it's about a general debate over Obamacare. As near as I can tell, it says: "An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition."Your comment is generic; it could have been posted on any blog about any company -- or, for that matter, any blog about healthcare.At the moment, I'm once more writing about changes Corporate has just made to its employee and retiree health insurance plans. Corporate is largely pointing fingers at Obamacare as the main culprit, without offering any specific evidence.I don't doubt that Obamacare will cost Gannett money. Unfortunately, Corporate is unwilling to say just how much. That naturally leads to suspicions that Gannett -- like many companies -- is using Obamacare as an excuse to shift a big cost increase onto the backs of workers and retirees.It can do that. But I don't think it's asking too much for the company to be honest about how much of this is Obamacare, and how much is just more of the same growing medical costs that have plagued the economy for decades.And that is how to discuss Obamacare within the context of Gannett.
Gannett is screwing over its employees once again. If someone making $55,000 is paying as much as someone making $250,000 for healthcare, there is something very, very wrong and it proves once again that Corporate does not give a shit about its employees. If this doesn't make you reevaluate your employment with this company, nothing will.
Jim let us know when the other Fortune 500 companies provide that information.
Exactly! And as for that jazz that media companies have a "special obligation to be more transparent", tell us which other media companies publicly disclose confidential and proprietary information about their internal business decisions and processes?
7:55 I thought Gannett aimed to be "best in class." Or is that just all bullshit?
That's just bullshit, Joel.
How does USA Today survive in this day and age? I understand, it's got great brand recognition, granted, but there is a gazillion places readers can get the same basic info that you can in USAT. And most of those places are free.Furthermore, have you seen the building USAT is located in? My God, how much did that thing cost? Look at the real estate ads in that vicinity. Just a simple 2-bedroom, 2-bath house will cost you about $600-700K or more. I presume the taxes are pretty high in that ritzy area too.So how does this paper survive? Not sure how they pay the bills, the mortgage, the utilities, let alone the salaries. Advertising isn't what it used to be, so it's baffling to me how this one-time giant of a publication remains profitable. Other national publications like Time magazine had to severely curtail operations, but besides some layoffs and buyouts, has USAT done anything to cut cost? Rented out space in the building? Held yard sales? Anything?
Don't downplay the savings on those layoffs and buyouts. In the newsroom alone, headcount has dropped by about a third since 2008. That's a lot of payroll out the door.Plus, newsprint consumption has fallen dramatically as the paper's size and page count dropped.There also are fewer news bureaus around the nation and the world, so that's savings on rent right there.And in a new reorganization of workspace now underway, it sounds like the paper will be freeing up yet more space in the building. Corporate has already found non-Gannett tenants for something like 100,000-150,000 square feet in the building. With USAT occupying smaller quarters, that's more space to rent out.
Were supposed to be a media company, not a landlord. We were better off renting space in Rosslyn than some suburban outpost.
Can we keep looks out of the Gracia bashing, please? It's sexist and unfair. There's plenty to criticize about her management style and callous handling of employees.
As always, agreed 1:38; I've removed those comments.
Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."
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