"The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission voted Thursday to allow employers to reduce or eliminate health benefits for retirees when they become eligible for Medicare at age 65."
"The agency approved a final rule saying that such cuts do not violate the civil rights law banning age discrimination. The vote was 3 to 1, with Republicans lining up in favor of the rule and a Democrat opposing it. ... The new rule creates a potentially explosive political issue, because it will create anxiety for many of the 12 million Medicare beneficiaries who also receive health benefits from their former employers."
"We are aware of the anxieties and misperceptions that have taken root," said Cari M. Dominguez, chairwoman of the commission, which was deluged with letters opposing the rule from more than 50,000 AARP members."
Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.