Monday, September 14, 2009

Is SEIU writing itself into the health care bills?

I think the National Right to Work Committee can be a bit over the top sometimes, but this article by its president, Mark Mix, makes interesting assertions which, if correct, would be worth some public focus. He says, with regard to health care reform committee bills: "Tucked away in thousands of pages of complex new rules, regulations and mandates are special privileges and giveaways" for organized labor.

We know that Andy Stern, head of the SEIU, has had unprecedented access to the White House over the first several months of the Obama administration. "Stern estimates he visits the White House once a week. SEIU officials talk to senior Obama advisor Nancy-Ann DeParle about healthcare -- a top priority for Stern.... We get heard," Stern said." I wonder how this compares to the access that certain defense contractors and energy firms had during the Bush-Cheney administration, something that riled a lot of people and raised the hackles of good-government advocates.

Parenthetically, I note that the Obama administration has recently agreed to disclose the names of advocates visiting the White House, but we will not see those names until December 31, well after legislative action on health care is likely to be completed.

We know further than the President and many members of Congress feel indebted to the SEIU for its huge financial and logistical support during the last election. While SEIU has been unsuccessful in obtaining support for its proposal to eliminate elections as part of union organizing drives, it is quite conceivable that it would use that feeling of indebtedness to obtain provisions in the reform bills that would strengthen its ability to organize health care workers.

Perhaps Mr. Mix's article will stimulate reporters and editorial writers to do their own research on the matter.

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