Unions oppose Baucus healthcare bill

October 14, 2009

Twenty-seven U.S. labor unions warn that the healthcare bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee is deeply flawed and they want to see some changes — or else they will oppose it.

baucusbil2 The coalition of major unions, who support healthcare reform, issued its warning in a full-page ad in Wednesday’s Washington Post.
“Unless the bill that goes to the floor of the U.S. Senate makes substantial progress to address the concerns of working men and women,  we will oppose it,” the ad says.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus’ healthcare plan does not include a government-run “public” insurance option backed by President Barack Obama.

And Labor is not happy about that.

The labor organizations say in their ad that “a public health insurance plan option is essential to reform.”

The public option tops a list of what the labor groups say is their “bottom line for health care reform.”  They also say healthcare can’t be paid for by a new tax on middle-class benefits and that employers have to pay a fair share of costs.

A measure passed earlier by the Senate Health panel does include a public insurance option — and the two bills will have to be merged. So there’s no telling what the final version is going to look like.

For more Reuters political coverage click here.

Photo credit: Hyungwon Kang (Baucus discusses the healthcare bill at a new conference in September)

7 comments

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How could she ignore 57 % of her constituency ???

Posted by Dexter Greer | Report as abusive

The unions don’t like the bill? Ha!

It’s obvious who wears the pants in the Democratic party. The final bill WILL have a public option. The unions pull the strings at DNC headquarters, make no mistake.

Two biggest supports of the democratic party ,trade unions and litigation attorneys,it does not make any difference what the rest of us say, these two groups will be catered for,you can bet your boots on that!Their interests will shape any bill that is finally approved by the democrats.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Lately, I’ve been thinking that if we’re going to accomplish anything, healthcare reform for instance, we have to learn to get along. To this end let people on the left, like me, offer people on the right our strong support of tort reform if they accept public option. I wonder what would happen

Posted by Art Hamjbach | Report as abusive

The announcement of labor associations to oppose an insurance industry written piece of legislation is understandable. Insurance, the other head of the monstrous financial services industry that owns our congress in a bipartisan fashion with banking, should be opposed by all those who draw a paycheck from a job. The investment class couldn’t care less that workers go without access to health care!
For-Profit health insurance corporations are the REAL DEATH PANELS!

Posted by Kurt B | Report as abusive

[...] ha ha ha..the unions have done a complete about face on healthcare reform since their health insurance is all considered "cadillac" type of insurance. How two-faced. IT IS all about "the money" !! Senate Health Bill Opposed By Unions, Full-Page Paper Ad Planned Front Row Washington

This all makes my head spin. I did find it odd that the President likes to tell us “we are all in this together”. But then when they wanted to tax these high priced insurance plans, his first comment was to exclude unions.

If we are truly all in this together, then why would union workers get a free pass on this tax on high priced health plans?

It seems everyone is in this together, except people Obama owes for their votes!

Posted by Heather | Report as abusive

The Unions aren’t dropping their support for reform, but they are right in not supporting a bill that won’t produce what the citizens of this country really need, a public option.
There are 45+million Americans, most of which are the youth of this country fresh out of college, who are uninsured. A public option is for the people who cannot and could never afford most “Cadillac” plans that the House representatives and Senators, fashioning the future of Provider Care reform, can already afford 3 or 4 times over.
Maya Rockeymoore frames the point well by stating, “It is not true that a public plan will kill private industry. A public plan provides Americans with more options for affordable, efficient health care. Medicare is a public/private partnership and the industry remains alive, well and very much a part of the system. Also, the Federal Employees Health Benefit program, which is maintained by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is in partnership with private insurers. Similarly, the Department of Defense’s TRICARE plan for military personnel and families and the Department of Veterans Affairs CHAMPVA for veterans both enjoy a relationship with private insurers. In each of these cases, private insurers participate in a plan sponsored by the federal government. These partnerships allow beneficiaries to access high quality, affordable care.” http://www.ourblook.com/component/option  ,com_sectionex/Itemid,200076/id,8/view, category/#catid107
The entire industry is bloated with cost. I wish that the primary focus of reform actually had significant regard for the medical industry in policy as opposed to the emphasis we currently have on provider care reform. However, I do also hope that the changes being made will target and impact practice.

Posted by maguire | Report as abusive