Tuesday, October 9, 2007

SEIU Won't Come to the Rescue

Not only did the Service Employees International Union not back a Democratic candidate, they can't back their own workers' right to employer provided health insurance. On the political side, the union is allowing each local to support the Democratic candidate of their choice. The AP report stated:

"Given the importance of this election, we are encouraging members and leaders to act on their passion for the candidates and get involved on a statewide basis," SEIU President Andy Stern said.

Instead of spending its money in a primary campaign, the international union will devote its funds to national issues until the Democrats have picked a candidate.

"We will continue to work on issues like health care, the war in Iraq and other issues while our locals decide whether they want to endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary," SEIU spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller said.

That same Andy Stern not long ago said "We have to recognize that employer-based health care is ending. It's dying. It will not return." The union can't back a candidate, while their president opens the door for employers to shed that pesky health insurance benefit. Unions want to be the giant group purchaser for health care coverage.

The problem is one group of thugs already skims 15-20% for marketing and administrative expenses. What happens when we add another layer? It could look like the Bush reconstruction of New Orleans, with layers of contractors, each with their profit motive. The average worker may look like a poor person in the Ninth Ward, shell shocked and financially overwhelmed. Better get used to it, because the individual employee is on their own.

Just hope you don't end up in the hospital under your self paid premium as another strong hurricane approaches. As those co-pays accumulate, your finances go underwater. With no one to help, the sick will need skills in self rescue. We saw the Bush response once, and it's predictive. The question is how many hospitals will remain open to provide care in this perfect storm.