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Mommmaaaa Asks, "We are supposed to bail out VIAGRA users now?"

This article was sent to me by Mommmaaaa (it is from Consumer Affairs from 2006 but still very pertinent):

"Lifestyle drugs -- chiefly Viagra -- are costing General Motors $17 million dollars a year and the cost is passed along to car, truck and SUV consumers. The blue pill is covered under GM's labor agreement with United Auto Workers, as well as benefit plans for salaried employees.

"GM executives estimate health care adds $1,500 to the price of each vehicle but they do not break out how much of the premium is caused by erectile dysfunction expenses. GM provides health care for 1.1 million employees, retirees and dependents and is the world's largest private purchaser of Viagra.

"GM recently raised the co-pay for erectile dysfunction drugs to $18 under a new agreement with the UAW and the company has also pared benefits for salaried workers.

"The automaker spends almost $5.6 billion each year on health care. While lifestyle drugs are a small fraction of the total medical bill, every health care expense is added into the price of every new vehicle and is a drag on the struggling goliath's earnings.

"Given the large number of aging autoworkers in the U.S., the industry's Viagra tab and bill for other erectile dysfunction drugs is certain to continue rising.

"Neither Ford nor Chrysler will disclose the amount spent on erectile dysfunction drugs.

"While many government and company health plans have eliminated impotence drugs from coverage plans, GM has more than two retirees for every active worker on its rolls and must negotiate eliminating the drugs from the union health plan with the UAW."

Mommmaaaa's husband Todd writes (in a text message, nonetheless)
"Now the government wants to bail out the auto industry. It costs about 75 bucks per hour to build a GM car. A Toyota car built in America costs about 35 bucks per hour to build. Almost 2000 dollars of the cost of every new GM car goes to pay insurance benefits of the auto workers union. GM spent over 16 million dollars last year on Viagra for its union members benefits. No wonder they're almost bankrupt. I say void union contracts and start over. Are they bailing out the companies or the
That's a good point. That's definitely something to think about.

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