— Good Afternoon.
Is your health insurance provided by your employer? If you're like most Americans, it is. In which case you can expect to be paying higher premiums — because your company will likely be passing the cost on to you. It may already have happened; have a look at your paycheck. This distressing news comes today from a survey done by one of the nation's leading health-care research organizations. The survey finds the largest jump in employer health care costs in 13 years. ABC News' Jackie Judd has the story tonight.
There is a lot of other news tonight: on El Presidente's tour, Mexico's Vicente Fox goes to Congress and then to Toledo, Ohio; Florida worries about sharks and their appetites; the Department of Justice has a change of heart vis-a-vis Microsoft; the Protestants have a change of strategy in North Belfast; and Israeli helicopters fire rockets on a militant we met just a few weeks ago — a militant who knew he was a marked man.
A member of our staff puts together a morning news summary each day, a page of items meant to kick-start our morning discussions. Well, today Noah Kotch certainly kick-started a discussion by including this: "Christianity has been all but vanquished in Britain, says the Archbishop of Westminster. He says the faith no longer influences people's lives." We were on the phone with our London bureau soon thereafter. ABC News' Jim Wooten has a provocative story from London about one man's provocative words.
A legendary CEO is retiring. Jack Welch, who runs General Electric, is as close to a rock star as a major CEO can get. Under Welch, the GE stock price has soared by more than 2,800 percent. Earnings are up more than 670 percent. But there is also a record you may not have heard about. In our Closer Look for tonight, our Andrew Serwer asks whether Welch really deserves his reputation.
Finally, five schoolteachers, one school district, and one very enterprising filmmaker — in the First Person.
We hope you'll join us.