Sunday, March 28, 2010

SEIU-Carlyle Fight Over ManorCare Was for Show

In numerous posts prior to The Carlyle Group's ManorCare buyout, I opined SEIU"S objections were theater for the masses. The Toledo Blade confirmed this assertion. It reported:

Even the Service Employees International Union, which lobbied to block the deal on grounds that patient care would suffer, conceded last week that it hasn't kept an eye on the situation to know whether care worsened.

There was good reason to grill Carlyle before the merger closed, but elected officials kept their heads underwater. However, SEIU wasn't the credible party in challenging the politically connected, private equity underwriter (PEU). Yet, the global media fails to notice.

Two years after their contentious battle, SEIU President Andy Stern partnered with Carlyle on Connecticut area rest stops.

The romance blossomed, when together they pushed health reform. An ex-ManorCare board member and representative on its Quality Oversight Committee, Gail Wilensky, testified before the Senate Finance Committee on reform. However, she failed to declare her numerous conflicts of interest in her public testimony.

PPACA provides $160 million for Uncle Sam to perform employee screening at long term care facilities. How much will ManorCare and sister company LifeCare save on personnel costs? Will it be more than the tax break for buying back ManorCare CMBS debt for pennies on the dollar? That was a feature of the Obama stimulus plan?

PEU's know how to leech off Uncle Sam, even if it's a few million at time. Given their focus on health care, it will add up. Washington Life Power 100 Andy Stern and David Rubenstein will strike a truce over money. If their gamble to restore union pension funds to healthy levels fails, taxpayers will shoulder the burden.