The U.S. Congress has passed bills that will allow companies who pay health coverage for retired workers to shift some of these costs to the federal government. The bills would create Medicare-subsidized health care organizations that would offer money to employers who maintained health coverage. The types of benefit plans offered by employers are typically more generous than these government subsidized benefits. There is now debate in Congress over how to make sure that companies do not cut retiree health insurance benefits completely. Many employers have already eliminated these benefits, and it is predicted that this legislation will cause more to do so.
See Milt Freudenheim, The New York Times, July 1, 2003