Thursday, September 10, 2009

More details on union-coddling in Health Care Reform proposals

I've written before about measures contained in the proposed Health Care Reform legislation, designed to funnel billions of dollars of public funds to trades unions. It's a sickening diversion of national income to a favored few, and one of the worst and most blatant examples of political patronage at public expense that I've ever seen.

Today an article in the Wall Street Journal highlights yet more attempts to funnel your money and mine - our tax dollars - to the unions who supported the President and the Democratic Party in the last election. An extract:

Tucked away in thousands of pages of complex new rules, regulations and mandates are special privileges and giveaways that could have devastating consequences for the health-care sector and the American economy at large.

The Senate version opens the door to implement forced unionization schemes pursued by former Govs. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois in 2005 and Gray Davis of California in 1999. Both men repaid tremendous political debts to Andy Stern and his Service Employees International Union (SEIU) by reclassifying state-reimbursed in-home health-care (and child-care) contractors as state employees—and forcing them to pay union dues.

Following this playbook, the Senate bill creates a "personal care attendants workforce advisory panel" that will likely impose union affiliation to qualify for a newly created "community living assistance services and support (class)" reimbursement plan.

The current House version of ObamaCare (H.R. 3200) goes much further. Section 225(A) grants Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius tremendous discretionary authority to regulate health-care workers "under the public health insurance option." Monopoly bargaining and compulsory union dues may quickly become a required standard resulting in potentially hundreds of thousands of doctors and nurses across the country being forced into unions.

Ms. Sebelius will be taking her marching orders from the numerous union officials who are guaranteed seats on the various federal panels (such as the personal care panel mentioned above) charged with recommending health-care policies. Big Labor will play a central role in directing federal health-care policy affecting hundreds of thousands of doctors, surgeons and nurses.

. . .

The House bill has a $10 billion provision to bail out insolvent union health-care plans. It also creates a lucrative professional-development grant program for health-care workers that effectively blackballs nonunion medical facilities from participation. The training funds in this program must be administered jointly with a labor organization — a scenario not unlike the U.S. Department of Labor's grants for construction apprenticeship programs, which have turned into a cash cow for construction industry union officials on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

There's more. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has suggested that the federal government could pay for health-care reform by taxing American workers' existing health-care benefits—but he would exempt union-negotiated health-care plans. Under Mr. Baucus's scheme, the government could impose costs of up to $20,000 per employee on nonunion businesses already struggling to afford health care plans.

. . .

ObamaCare is a Trojan Horse for more forced unionization.

There's more at the link.

It's worth reading the whole article, just to get an idea of the scale of the rapacious daylight robbery of the public purse being contemplated by the current Administration and majority party, and their union allies. I accept that the Republican Party was equally culpable of pandering to special interests, but even in their worst moments I can't recall them being so 'in-your-face' blatant, so greedy, and so obviously uncaring of what the public may feel about it.

One gets the inescapable impression that those currently in power are actively giving the finger to the American public. One can only hope that at the next election, the American public will return the favor . . .


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