Thursday, December 17, 2009

SEIU Supports Republican Health Insurance Reform Plan

That is what I take away from this letter from Andy Stern, the head of SEIU, that he posted this morning. He says he is fighting for the same things that the Republicans have offered in alternative legislation, except he doesn't mention tort reform.

Last night, we held a meeting with your International Executive Board--leaders from across the country. Leaders who know you, who understand what you are going through, and above all else, who believe that every one of you deserves a chance to weigh in on our next steps.

We talked about everything that makes this reform meaningful:

  • The 30 million more people who will have healthcare they can count on;
  • The people who will no longer lose their coverage if they get sick;
  • All of us who no longer have to worry about being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions;
  • Women who will no longer be discriminated against just because of their gender.
I am not sure what he means about the 30 million more people who will have healthcare or how he proposes to make that happen, but what is clear is that he isn't too happy with the direction the debate is going in the Senate.

The other thing I took away from this letter is that Stern apparently views SEIU more as a political action group then a workers union. He certainly views SEIU as a driving force in the Democrat Party, and I would like to know how he squares that with his rank and file membership. Are you trying to tell me that every member of his union is a card carrying Democrat?

Stern makes a very emotional appeal using the "Yes, we can" chant associated with the Barry O campaign, but winds up failing to detail just exactly what it is he wants.

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