Theodore's World: Unions , Howard Dean and Others Not Ready To Jump On Board For Obama's HealthCare Bill

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December 17, 2009

Unions , Howard Dean and Others Not Ready To Jump On Board For Obama's HealthCare Bill

Howard Dean Explains Wanting To Kill Healthcare Bill

Union pulls back on supporting bill

The Hill

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) backed out of an event with other organizations promoting the Senate healthcare reform bill Wednesday over concerns about changes made to the legislation to accommodate centrist Democrats.

The SEIU had planned to participate in a Capitol Hill press conference along with the AARP, the liberal advocacy group Families USA, Consumers Union and the American Cancer Society Action Network. As recently as Tuesday morning, the organizations distributed an advisory to the news media that included the SEIU.

But the move by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to excise provisions of the healthcare reform bill to create a government-run public option health insurance program and to allow people between 55 and 64 years old to buy into Medicare gave the labor union pause, spokeswoman Lori Lodes said.
"That decision has to be made by our leaders and our members," Lodes said. The event with the AARP and the other groups was scheduled before Reid made changes to the bill.

The SEIU executive board will hold what Lodes described as an "emergency" meeting Wednesday night to decide how to move forward. "Right now, they don't have the information they need to make this decision," said Lodes, who added that the SEIU informed the other organizations on Tuesday they would not be joining the press conference.

The board meeting likely will not produce a final determination by the union about whether to support advancing the Senate healthcare bill, which not only lacks a public option and the Medicare buy-in but also would levy an excise tax on so-called Cadillac health insurance plans that some union members have, Lodes said.

"We will not have an absolute decision coming," largely because Reid has not released the final language of the healthcare bill, she said.

Union Leaders Riled Over Obama Priorities, Actions

The Obama presidency and Democrats’ control of Congress isn’t working out like labor leaders had hoped.

They are upset with President Obama’s decision to make healthcare his top domestic priority over jobs. They are peeved about a Senate proposal to tax expensive health insurance plans. And they are riled that proposals to ease union organizing rules have gone nowhere.

As for healthcare, labor leaders object to the Senate proposal to tax “Cadillac” health insurance plans, because some union members have them.

Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told the Senate that the healthcare reform bill must have “no taxes on middle-class health plans” in it, Politico news service reported.

Congress has shown no urgency to act on the bill that would make it easier for unions to organize: the Employee Free Choice Act.

Even after Congress is done with healthcare, there’s no guarantee it will act on the union bill. That’s because moderate Democrats may oppose it, especially with the 2010 elections looming.

To be sure, labor has won some victories under Obama. The National Mediation Board, which oversees airline and railroad worker unions, has proposed a rule change making it much easier for workers in those industries to unionize.

But many on the left are displeased with Obama about issues ranging from gay rights to Afghanistan policy.

And liberal policy concerns might hurt the Democrats in elections next year.

“What will be missing in 2010 is the high energy from liberal activists who raised money, networked online and did the grunt work that got out the vote in 2008, particularly the votes of young voters, African-Americans and Latinos,” pollster John Zogby writes in Forbes.

GOP Sen. Collins: Health bill is 'too deeply flawed for me to support it'

"I don't see voting for the current bill that is on the floor, even with the improvements that have been made," Collins said. "I'm very leery of the impact of nearly $500 billion in Medicare cuts, particularly the cuts in home health care, which are completely counterproductive to the goal of lowering costs."

Collins explained that she is continuing to work on the bill not because she intends to vote for it but because, "I think something is going to pass, and I would like to make that bill as good as possible, even if ultimately it's not a bill that I can support."

Wild Thing's comment........

If they're waiting for the final language from Reid they're going to have a long wait. The union thugs are not happy.

I don’t believe Obama will let this proceed with the unions up in arms and it’s got to be all the unions, not just the AFL-CIO and SEIU. And the unions have to be irate, especially after having given Obama about $400 million to get him elected.

Democrats are in complete disarray. Whatever they try to pull off or pull off now is going to ignite this country in such a manner that they cannot even begin to imagine.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at December 17, 2009 03:47 AM


Selfishness by the unions may kill this healthcare fiasco. All the liberal groups want to be sure ther pet projects are included and then are unhappy when they find out that is not so.

Posted by: TomR at December 17, 2009 10:38 AM

The left is an impossible master to treat with. Barry's finding that out maybe they too will want him gone. Naw,,, who else would they vote for, McCain Bwahahahahahahahah.

Posted by: Mark at December 17, 2009 03:58 PM

Tom, your right, liberals want to pack
it with all their agenda things.

Mark, LOL oh gosh that would be awesome.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 18, 2009 12:08 AM