Obamacare has claimed another victim. Met Life has announced that it will no longer write long term care policies.
No one was more vocifierous in their demand for health care reform than the largest unions in this country. To wit:
Now is the time for healthcare reform, and SEIU members from 1199NW are helping to lead the way. Delegations of community leaders from over 40 states are being flown into Washington for in order to meet with key Members of Congress, and four SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members will be among them.
RNs Linda Arkava and Tara Lerew, CNA Maikele Mengesha and medical unit secretary Levorn Glover will be on Capitol Hill tomorrow as part of HCAN’s large-scale rally and lobby day for quality, affordable health care. Watch the video to find out about why they’re traveling from Washington state to DC to lobby for reform.
“It’s really important for us to not miss this opportunity for passing health care, but it does need to be something that covers people and that can be built upon,” said Burger. “And so I just want to make sure it’s not done in any kind of way that is limiting and that doesn’t deal with the crisis once and for all. We can build upon it and expand it.”
Education is a fundamental human right. So is universal health care. There is no moral justification in denying it to anyone, especially in the most prosperous nation on earth.
That is why we support President Obama’s quest for real health care reform now.
Our current system is failing. Costs are spiraling. Large sections of the population have limited or no access to preventive, health-sustaining or life-saving care. The quality of care, though at its best unsurpassed in the world, is neither consistent nor keeping pace.
We lag behind 36 other nations, including Morocco, Cyprus and Colombia, according to the World Health Organization. And yet our costs per person are more than double the top-ranked countries.
Special interests, such as pharmaceutical corporations and insurance carriers, are luxuriating in astronomical profits literally at the expense of human lives.
There is nothing inherently wrong with corporations making profits. But it must be in proportion, responsible and not the sole goal of their existence.
There are some individual opponents of universal health care whose positions, though not enlightened, are rooted in good faith.
But there are groups, fueled in part by reactionary media pundits, who are waging a giant, hostile and calculated crusade of “disinformation.” They are provoking doubt and spreading panic.
There is no contradiction between a free enterprise system, which we value with a few caveats, and health care reform that includes public health insurance. Medicare is an example. It is taxpayer-supported and almost nobody clings to the arguments that were originally waged against it more than 40 years ago.
Health care reform must extend services to the uninsured. It must do so without diminishing what is currently offered privately or publicly through collective bargaining or otherwise.
The entire American labor movement strongly favors real health care reform with a full and robust health insurance component.
Because all Americans deserve quality care.
We’re at a critical moment. SEIU members have fought for nearly a decade on health care.
Now, some in Congress want to turn us back. They want to pass a scaled-back version of the health reform bill, and as one blogger put it, “hack it to pieces.”
A comprehensive bill is the only way to fix the health care system – from expanding Medicare benefits and lowering health care costs, to improving rural care and home care services. Scaling back health reform will not help real working families.
President Obama delivers his State of the Union address this Wednesday evening, and before then, we have a 72-hour window to rescue comprehensive health reform. Our union has a reputation for bold leadership in times of crisis – and this is one of those times. Members like you need to give Congress the political courage to finish the job.
In what seems intended as a shot across the bow of House Dems wavering on health reform, top officials with the labor powerhouse SEIU have bluntly told a Democratic member that they will pull their support for him — and will likely field a challenger against him — if he votes No on the Senate bill.
Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO, September, 2009
“Mob rule is not a democracy. People have a democratic right to express themselves and our elected leaders have a right to hear from their constituents — not organized thugs whose sole purpose is to shut down the conversation and attempt to scare our leaders into inaction.”
Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO, September 2010
“Without Nancy Pelosi, health care [sic] wouldn’t have happened, because all the guys that were sitting around the table wanted to fold their cards and go for these little itty-bitty rights. She’s the one who had the backbone to say no. We stuck together, and we got a historic victory, and she drove it down the Republicans’ throats and out their backsides.”
Barack Obama, 1/11/09
‘We’re not trying to jam anything down people’s throats.’
Obamacare already provided numerous favors for unions.
The closed-door negotiations over the health care bill have made this clear. Unions strongly objected to the excise tax on “Cadillac” health plans. By some estimates the tax would hit one in four union members. Union lobbyists pressured the White House to drop that tax. After a high-profile meeting between Obama and union lobbyists on Monday, the unions apparently have gotten what they asked for: the excise tax will not apply to collectively bargained health plans. The tax that unions found so onerous will now apply to everyone but them.
What a deal. Unions want the health care spending, but they do not want to pay for it. Obama gave them just that. It also makes for a great recruiting pitch: join a union, get a tax cut.
Obama’s handouts for unions go beyond the health care bill:
• All that federal spending on public works construction projects? The President’s Executive Order on Project Labor Agreements reserves most of those jobs for union members.
• The Detroit bailout was bad policy in its own right. Now the pensions of union retirees at GM subsidiaries will get generous taxpayer top-ups to prevent benefit cuts. The pension plans of nonunion retirees, however, will not get a cent.
• The law requires unions to partner with federal “green job” training programs. Union members will stand first in line for the “green jobs” Obama talks about creating.
You’d think that that was enough.
And you’d be wrong.
SEIU and at least 12 other unions have sought waivers from the very health care law they fought so hard to have passed.
(H/T Jim Hoft)
At least 111 companies have been granted waivers from Obamacare. From 1 to 351,000 employees, ranging from the United Federation of Teachers to Captain Elliott’s Party Boats.
The mass granting of waivers is concrete proof that Obamacare is already a failure and must be repealed. These exemptions violate one of Barack Obama’s core principles (I know he has none. Play along with me):
Unless you’re a union.
Or Captain Elliott.