But they got Car of the Year ! BA/Merrill Lynch predicts GM will lose 3 more points of market share --down to 15% from 22% last year--largely because there are so few new products** in the pipeline. That means the company is heading for another federal bailout , says The Truth About Cars . ... Rattner got out just in time. ( Reason #5 ) ...
**--Though GM has demonstrated the ability to introduce new products and still not make up much ground. See the recent history of Saturn. ... 4:52 P.M.
Obama: Could I say, I have great respect for Sanjay Gupta, but I never nominated him.
The press nominated him. I never — you know, that was not — there were people who had suggested that he might make a good surgeon general. And I think, in fact, he could have made a good surgeon general. He's a very well-spoken person and a lot of the job of the surgeon general is to get a message out. [E.A.]
It's the press' fault! Is Obama dissembling (so as not to insult his actual nominee, Regina Benjamin) or did CNN's Howie Kurtz get it wrong when he disclosed, on January 6 , that:
I have no dog in this fight. I trust Marmolite will get to the bottom of it. ... 4:50 P.M.
Tim Noah has what seems like a very good suggestion regarding the public plan
[The House bill says the] public health insurance option "shall offer basic, enhanced, and premium plans" and may also offer "premium-plus plans," presumably at escalating levels of cost. This is to make it conform to the private plans also offered within the new, strictly regulated health insurance exchange created under the bill. ... [snip]
Rather than provide a menu of four public-option plans, I'd prefer to see the government establish a single, reasonably generous public-option plan and leave the gold plating to private insurers. Doing so would allow the government to take a more egalitarian approach and at the same time would turn over to private insurers a decent-sized potential market for nonbasic health care. It wouldn't stop their squawking, but it might reduce it. [E.A.]
Would Medicare offer tiered service? It wouldn't. ... Tiered service also threatens to undermine the social-egalitarian benefits of universal health insurance. Instead of everyone waiting in the same waiting room, there might be a different waiting room for every purse and purpose. ... 4:48 P.M.
One good thing the Presidental Task Force on Autos did --force some UAW patronage desk workers to actually start building cars again :
Unlike their nonunion rivals, the Detroit Three have paid for a small union bureaucracy at each plant to handle grievances, conduct union elections and support labor-management initiatives. Those people didn't work in the plant.
Now in the leaner post-bankruptcy environment, the UAW is eliminating at least 300 positions across its 23 Chrysler locals, according to several local officials. General Motors expects the initiative will affect less than 1% of its 52,000 U.S. hourly employees, according to Childers Arb.
This would fit with Rattner Departure Reason # 8. .... But note the fine print at the end of the story, disclosing that GM will not eliminate useless patronage positions where they are "required under the local labor contract." Oh. How many of them are there? ... P.S.: So the brother in law of some union official has been sitting behind a desk for 20 years. Now he's on the line, and pissed off about it. Do you want to buy the car that he'll build? ... [ via TTAC ] 4:46 P.M
Matt Yglesias on the road not taken in health care reform. ... 4:44 P.M.