Saturday, January 23, 2010

Unions Want Health Reform to Become Relevant

SEIU President Andy Stern is quotable. Consider his recent words pressing Congress to not run to the locker room on health reform:

Concluded Stern: “For the 31 million people who don’t have health care, for the 14,000 who lose it every day, for the 120 people who die every day, they elected this Congress to make change, not to set their sights lower when the going gets tough.”

Andy spoke to health insurance before. Summer 2006 found Stern saying:

"We have to recognize that employer-based heath care is ending. It's dying. It will not return," he said Friday at a forum sponsored by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

Combine the two quotes and you have health care reform. More people will lose employer coverage than will garner new insurance from 2008 to 2019. While Stern's 31 million get coverage, 35.3 million lose workplace health insurance.

Health reform makes seismic shifts in who pays for coverage. Employers clearly want to do less "to compete in a global economy." Unions stand ready to serve as group health insurance negotiators, thus the need for card check.

Who will back fill previous employer contributions, the individual or a tapped out Uncle Sam? Beware the double dump.

One might expect a generation of mean & greedy leaders to reinvigorate unions, but that hasn't been the case. Maybe health reform will do it.

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