Happy Labor Day??

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 Happy Labor Day??

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seek2mend
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Join date : 2009-02-16

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PostHappy Labor Day??

With all the commercials which I guess are paid for by union dues, it was easier this year for me to remember what Labor Day is really about. And there was a time I did feel like being reminded about how far we have come. Now I think greed and power has slowly crept in and is accelerating as I post.

This is not greed by the average union member. I am talking greed and power by the leadership. Maybe I am overreacting. You tell me.

On NPR's Weekend edition Sunday, Liane Hansen interviews Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Richard Trumka. This is another organization that I find it surprising to learn that they support a public option. The reason so many people do not support a public option is because they fear employers will stop offering private health insurance and dump employees into the public system. And I think that is what the Obama Administration wants.

IMO, the bottom line is this. It has been painfully obvious that Obama cut alot of deals to get endorsements. I think one of those included eliminating secret ballots to join a union. This is the only explanation I can come up with for union leadership for a public option. Any thoughts?
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Happy Labor Day?? :: Comments

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Re: Happy Labor Day??
Post on Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:44 am  Dave
I do not know enough about the public option to comment on it. I will comment that my experiance in a union is that it looks out for it's employees and will strive to get the best health care package that it can negotiate. granted I am seeing things froma very limited perspective because I do not think that all unions operate in the same manner- I can only relate to what I have observed.

Speaking of being in a union- I am working and it's Labor Day- whats up with that??? scratch
Re: Happy Labor Day??
Post on Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:53 am  seek2mend
I have heard different explanations to what a public option is. I would think at least the educated would understand it before speaking about it. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Therefore, I am forced to rely on the explanation given by
Sheldon Whitehouse, which seems to be the most consistent.

The public option is a government created plan. It will be paid for by the people choosing this plan over the private plans. It will be provided with seed money. The claim by the government is it will keep costs down by creating *real* competition. Many believe it is the first step to putting private insurers out of business as a move to complete nationalization and universal government healthcare.

If the naysayers are correct, and insurers are not likely to be able to compete with the government, that would mean unions would not be spared. So I think it is important everyone understands whats at stake. When union leadership is in bed with government, the rank and file had better wake up.

The transcript of the Hansen interview with Trumka is available at NPR.org.
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Re: Happy Labor Day??
Post on Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:19 am  Dave
I could see how that "could' help drive some costs down. However, I also think that there will always be different plans, with different features, at different levels of coverage. Now will a union agree to one of the more basic plans? Perhaps...but it would be a negotiation. What really scares me is when I hear of potential legislation that takes away that right to bargin.

I think all can probably agree that the system we now have needs attention. Those costs cannot continue to increase year after year without an eventual collapse. I have no idea how all of this will end but I do think that everyone should have some form of coverage (just like auto insurance), and that everyone should be able to choose their levels of coverage (just like auto insurance).
Re: Happy Labor Day??
Post on Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:18 pm  seek2mend
Dave wrote:
I could see how that "could' help drive some costs down. However, I also think that there will always be different plans, with different features, at different levels of coverage. nce).

Tell that to the British, Canadians etc

My main point is this. The nation's union leadership is pushing for the Employee Free Choice Act. As fuzzy and warm as it may sound, from everything I have heard and read, this act should scare everyone from sea to shining sea.

The president, or his handlers (Pelosi?) are pushing for a public option that would have the ability to create mandates that would be unsustainable to private insurers. Thus they would be out of business.

I think it is about time we all do our homework, put partisan politics aside and determine whether or not those "Right wing lunatics" are on to something.
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Re: Happy Labor Day??
Post on Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:38 pm  mkreyssig
Seek....the "vanilla" explanation of a public option plan is just what you said. A government funded plan, that will "compete" with private plans.

A couple of pretty neutral points.

1) The 47 Million uninsured number that the polticians like to throw out is a bit of an exaggeration. That number was pulled from the 2007 Census from the question "Do you currently have medical insurance."

Off the top of my head the number breaks down to:

11 million immigrants (does not specify legality)

25 million are 18-34 years old and can probably either afford to buy it on their own and don't, or reject it from their employer.

14 Million make 75k a year or 400% over the federal poverty limit.

Some just didn't have insurance at the time the census went out. So the number of uninsured is not as dire as some would like it to sound. Also most of those in poverty that really cannot afford insurance qualify for Medicare and/or the State Children's Medical Funds, something every state has.

2) The system does need some work, I would prefer however not to have the government be the solution. You give them the keys to medical insurance, frankly you give them the keys to everything.

3) As far as the union support goes, I have never been in the a union, but would it be safe to say that on political or "lobbiest" matters that the Leaders at the top, don't necessarily speak for the people at the bottom?
Re: Happy Labor Day??
Post on Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:31 am  seek2mend
Wendy wrote:

I'm sorry, Mike, but I don't understand this. There are 47 million who do not have health insurance. Giving reasons *why* they don't isn't the same thing as them *not* having health insurance.

I know this is some big "fact" that all conservatives believe. A quick Google search shows me that. I just don't understand. A person who is uninsured is uninsured.

Here is a horrible story about the victim of an unspeakable crime who happened to be uninsured. http://healthcare.change.org/blog/view/were_making_the_victim_of_a_murderous_rampage_pay_for_her_hospital_stay

That is a horrible story and maybe the people of Pa. should demand their state gov't follow the Massachusetts model. I think we are down to 2.2% uninsured.

But I still don't think stories such as this further the discussion. I think the bottom line is whether or not a federal government take over is the answer. Politically speaking, the liberal apparantly thinks it is and the conservative/libertarian thinks otherwise.
Re: Happy Labor Day??
Post on Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:27 am  seek2mend
One of my favorite contributors to the Sun Chronicle, Anthony Tiatorio, has an excellent piece in todays paper . I don't know if ithe article "Politics, partisanship count for too much in debates" is available at the website. If it is, maybe one of the moderators can create a seperate topic in an appropriate forum.

IMO, this piece would be appropriate in any middle and high school civics classroom to spark some productive conversation. Maybe it is time to push the reset button on this democracy.
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Re: Happy Labor Day??
Post on Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:53 am  mkreyssig
Wendy wrote:


I'm sorry, Mike, but I don't understand this. There are 47 million who do not have health insurance. Giving reasons *why* they don't isn't the same thing as them *not* having health insurance.

I know this is some big "fact" that all conservatives believe. A quick Google search shows me that. I just don't understand. A person who is uninsured is uninsured.

Here is a horrible story about the victim of an unspeakable crime who happened to be uninsured. http://healthcare.change.org/blog/view/were_making_the_victim_of_a_murderous_rampage_pay_for_her_hospital_stay

factcheck.org has a very good "party neutral" explanation of the 47 million along with what free medical insurance a good chunk of these "uninsured" qualify for now, but don't know they qualify, or don't bother to fill out the paperwork.

I'm not saying the system doesn't need a massive overhaul but we can do it without the government running healthcare.

1) You model Massachusetts and mandate it so that this 18-34 group that the government like to classify as the "invincibles" actually pays into the system for 10 to 15 years before they start using the insurance.

2) With that you take the money that the state and federal governments are giving to the hospitals and instead give it to the Medicaid and Medicare Funds

3) Open up the borders so that employers and individuals can shop across state lines for medical insurance plans.

4) For the really small businesses you mandate each state starts a small business insurance co-op that the state will give seed money too, or allow them to buy into the plan that current state employees get.

5) We were on our parents medical insurance for 20 years, allow our parents to come back on our plans for the same amount of time after they reach retirement age. You allow the insurance company to increase the premium on your plan (x) amount of dollars, but that is subsidized by Medicare.

6) Tort reform: I have read articles of doctors who would treat patients for free, but they won't because of the cost of their medical malpractice insurance.

7) Start offering two levels of care. How many times have you had to take your child to the doctor to get their ears checked just to "make sure" they don't have an ear infection? The doctor takes about 15 seconds to tell you no and charged you your co-pay, and the insurance company get's their bill too.

Cool The additional money that is now being funneled into the Medicaid system can be used to insure the children of illegal immigrants.

9) The rest remains as it is. If you are poor you go on Medicaid, if you are old after 20 years on your child's insurance, or as soon as you retire, you go on Medicare.
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