The current House bill (HR 3200) grants the Secretary of Health and Human Services discretionary authority to regulate health care workers under the public health insurance option. Doctors and nurses may be forced into monopoly bargaining and have to pay union dues. The Secretary will be guided by the many new federal government advisory and regulatory panels set up by the bill and these panels are to be filled with union officials.
The Senate bill follows in the footsteps of Govs. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois and Gray Davis of California who paid their union dues by reclassifying state-reimbursed in-home health care and child care contract workers as state employees. They were then pushed into the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) which ran the biggest Democrat union PAC in the last election and is turning out its members to pack town hall meetings to make them safer for Democrats. This is already the fastest growing union and it expects to become much bigger under ObamaCare.
The House bill bails out insolvent union health care plans with $10 billion. Similar to the construction apprenticeship programs operated in the Department of Labor, it also creates a training and professional development program for health care workers. The construction training program has given construction unions hundreds of millions of dollars a year, so the SEIU is hoping to tap into a similar goldmine.
Max Baucus, Senate Finance Committee Chairman, wants to tax health care insurance benefits, but he will exempt union-negotiated plans. This would certainly be an incentive for workers to join a union and may be reason enough for some employers to push their employees into unions. They give up management of the company in large part, but have to fund much cheaper union-negotiated insurance benefits. At present health insurance rates, this may not be a big enough factor for a company to give up its own management, but after the Federal government adds many more benefits that must be covered in acceptable health insurance plans and the cost of such plans goes up greatly, many companies will be forced to sell their souls to the union devil to stay in business, if only for the short haul.
It is clear that ObamaCare is designed to reward labor unions for their support. It will cause the rest of us
- to pay higher taxes,
- to pay higher rates for our health insurance,
- to worry about needing health care when union workers are on strike,
- to be taken advantage of by ghost workers, seniority over competence in promotions and job security, and laziness on the job,
- to be subject to increased union power in politics since it will add huge sums of new union dues to be used for political and expansion efforts, and
- suffer from increased union management of private health firms and of government panels and agencies.