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Union Leaders Rebuke Centrist Democrats for Claiming Medicare for All Would Harm Workers

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/02/union-leaders-rebuke-centrist-democrats-claiming-medicare-all-would-harm-workers

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From the article:

"…Service Employees International Union (SEIU) president Mary Kay Henry seemed ‘genuinely angered’ when asked about the argument that Medicare for All would hurt union workers.

“‘I think it’s a false choice,’ said Henry, ‘and I really resent the 16 million workers who joined together and bargained for better health plans being pitted against millions of Americans struggling to get healthcare coverage.’”

Divide-and-conquer—keeping tyrants (and their wealth!) safe from the rabble for millenia.


Yes it’s great to see union leaders didn’t take the “divide” bait pitting union labor against non-union labor.


It doesn’t matter what unions want. The DNC says Biden is going to be the Democratic candidate and when it comes to health care, you’ll get what Biden says you’ll get.

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Um, well, care to comment? Oh and where is Rich Trumka on this. Still hiding under his desk? Crickets?

“But at least three of the most influential unions NNU named aren’t actually married to Medicare for All: Service Employees International Union (SEIU), with 2 million members, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), with 1.7 million members, and United Automobile Workers (UAW), with nearly 1 million members.”

Good for the unions and you would think corporate America would be fighting for Medicare For All and reduce that expense???

Love your articles Jake and always learn something. My wish is that you and your peers, politicians would defend socialism and let the people know how much socialism that corporate Amerika and the rich get in subsidies, loopholes, laws their lobbyist write for the politicians to benefit them, and outright tax breaks. Just the subsidies to these multimllion/billion $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
corporations should simply be called socialism for the rich. It is just not out there enough.

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Biden apparently wasn’t listening when his friend Obama said that ACA was to be transition to a larger public option. Biden and many others seem fond of the health care limbo where everything is more expensive-- much more expensive-- than Medicare for all will prove to be. Warren and Sanders are bold visionaries. Other candidates-- most but not all-- are weaklings not trying for enough.

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There is a way or two to make the transition equitable for everyone in our nation - all 335 million.

  1. Begin with pre natal through 14 years old covered by “Medicinical”
    Teens 15 thru 17 remain on parents private health care from employer.
    18th birthday, off parents plan
    This beginning saves employers billions of dollars. the savings must be directly placed into the individual employees paycheck.
  2. Medicinical is not 80% like medicare, but at 90% or more with low annual max. For example, an individual may be 800, a married couple 1,100 and a family $1,500. The reason is that the patient gets to see the medical fees being charged. They get to comment, complain, moan, etc.
  3. There has to be a few transitions. perhaps by calandar year or birthday.
  4. Married couples with both working and no children will choose one of the employers plan and the spouse will have their paycheck boosted.
    Married couples with children - see 1 above.

you get the idea. we move forward bringing in citizens to healthcare. the age 65 medicare paying 80% will require review and perhaps a big adjustment. the boomers are gonna bust the bank - along with military and potential high interest rates for our federal bonds.

I can describe the Democratic platform in one word: Incoherent.

Which leads me to ask: If a party can’t decide on what they stand for outside of “we’re not Trump,” why would voters be inspired by them?

Oh, that’s right, voters aren’t inspired by them.

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Ever since the 1985 Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) formation the Dimcrit Party’s highest priority has been to at least sustain and hopefully increase the intake of corporate money.

Seeing the record number of state and federal seats the Dimcrits lost during Bill Clinton’s 8 years and seeing Obama break Clinton’s record, winning elections has long been irrelevant for the Party.

“[A]t least three of the most influential unions NNU named [as supporting M4A] aren’t actually married to Medicare for All [including] American Federation of Teachers (AFT)”

Not all unions cited by the nurses union as supporting M4A really support it? OK, I’ll speak for my union cited in the thinkprogress article you cite, the AFT (parent union of my NYC teacher union, the UFT).

It is true that since 2008 at least, the union has passed resolutions and published official statements that, on the one hand support M4A, but that, on the other, are phrased in such a way as to support preserving the ACA and an incrementalist approach I think will fail.

Thus the AFT leadership refuses to demand and lead in a progressive direction, instead gearing its members to support more right wing healthcare positions vs. putting pressure on right liberal Democratic spokespersons.

On the other hand, it remains true that - overall - union support for M4A is at a highpoint, and that many unions have come out in support of it, however weakly.

Last - note that Neera Tanden’s thinkprogress is a right liberal, Clinton-machine creation…


…and that this article basically intends to undercut such support as M4A has with unions.

Oh, and really last, the thinkprogress article plagiarizes in word and idea much of the inthesetimes article it links - except it cuts the crucial analysis of why some unions don’t support M4A, and how it’s ultimately incumbent on the rank and file to drive more conservative leadership to support M4A. See:

Some iterations of AFT support:

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Thanks for the helpful response. I certainly agree that CAP was trying to undercut the news that union support for MFA is at an all time high. Neera is a grim apparatchik. I’ll be interested to see what the AFT leadership does on this, and who they will endorse for 2020 considering their early backing of Clinton last time. Another question I have is do the unions have a financial stake in the current system? When you open the homepages of many unions they have a big ad for their healthcare programs.

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Congratulations for predicting outcomes with such precision a full year in advance in what will likely continue to be the most volatile political seasons in years.

"Former Vice President Joe Biden, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), and former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) . . . "

. . . have not three functioning synapses among them. In this volatile if not technically chaotic political climate, these lumps and many others have not learned diddly squat since they got their MBAs or Masters in political science–the science of getting people to vote for people they don’t like, a branch of marketing–or maybe not since high school. They are still living in Reaganville or before, and the times they done a-changed.

Of COURSE there are internal disagreements, but organized labor is on the march (sic) in a way that has not been seen since–well, since Reagan. People began realizing that real wage growth had nonexistent since BEFORE Reagan at least 20 years ago, and since then have been clawing back (sic) those losses, led by SEIU, nurses, and teachers, and occasionally even the big meta-unions.

There are never any guarantees, except that the only way to assure failure is not to show up for the fight.


I realize you are just “throwing out numbers”, but why wouldn’t a married couples out of pocket be at least double that of an individual? Your numbers “thrown out” are WAY off that mark and suggest you would expect for some reason singles to subsidize couples. Not going to happen.

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we had $2,500 annual deductible for singles and $5,000 deductible for families in Joliet, Illinois.
An excellent employee with four children could not budget $100.00 per week for out of pocket health care.
Yes, for some reason the dollar sign would not remain - i even tried edit.
800 individual
1,100 married without children
1,500 married with children

just a starting point for this discussion, not a hard number.

and please remember - in Baltimore.
An unmarried couple with one or two children receive $70.00 MORE each week in gov’t assistance than the married couple with one or two children.

NO! We are just talking about single vs. couple. NO CHILDREN! Why should an individual be responsible for much more. BTW, 5k is double 2.5k…so your point? Your math will result in Trump winning again. Please think!

the point is moving, gradually, over a few years.
and you and others do not mention that medicare pays 80% of the government menu. the individual is responsible for the 20% PLUS even more in some cases.

We only had two categories in Joliet - not three. I ADD ONE MORE. Because I know that families with children in the middle, $25.00 per hour, cannot budget the same as a married couple with no children and both spouses are likely working.

if you want to move forward, place your ideas out here !!

How do you not understand why making an individual responsible for more out of pocket per-capita than a couple (NO CHILDREN!!!) would be EXTREMELY unfair to unmarried people??? Once again, Trump is going to win with your logic. Or lack there of I should say.

for heavens sake:
I increased the categories from two to three.
Now, I will add a fourth !!
Married couples with no children, both working - they both pay their own medical ! There ya go, no more double dipping.
This couple in 1964, received a check from the wives health insurance company for over $3,000.00 which was a tidy sum back then. Husband had blue cross and this was first payer. Wife had Aetna and this was second payer = 100% coverage without any deductible.

I also witnessed a similar extra payout in Illinois. Over $20,000 for a carpel tunnel surgery and recuperation. The employee had carried over their previous employers plan via Cobra and added ours.