Monday, March 10, 2008

Union Chief Pressing for Dollars

Not long ago Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern said "employer-based health care system is dead. It is a relic of the industrial economy." This morning's Washington Post ignored Andy's giveaway by subtitling their article "Union Chief Pressing for Better Pay and Benefits at Private Firms." I guess that means benefits other than a "dead health insurance" benefit.

For those not paying attention, Republicans and Democrats offered a plan that shifts the financial responsibility for health insurance to the employee. It's called the Wyden Plan. Unions could then serve as huge group purchasers on behalf of workers, making them relevant in today's world. Andy Stern wants to manage billions in health insurance premiums in a strangely Carlyle-like fashion. Will he work in a management fee on those premium dollars?