Sunday, August 2, 2009

As They Say On Twitter: SEIU FAIL

The Foundry

Posted July 29th, 2009 at 6.39pm in Health Care.

As the old saying in Washington goes: if you can’t attack the message,
attack the messenger. Nobody knows this strategy better than the
Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a big labor union
known for bullying anyone it disagrees with into submission. And that
is why they are turning their “activists” against the Lewin Group, a
nonpartisan, independent health care research firm.

In the past couple weeks, thousands of conservatives have taken to
Twitter to say #handsoff and push for health care reform that leaves
medical decisions in their hands and not the government’s. Now SEIU
leaders are urging their members to tweet “Lewin Group FAIL” to
Members of Congress on Twitter, FAIL being the ultimate dig on the
social networking site. And by doing this they are showing that with-
out a coherent health care message, they have shamefully resorted
to attacking those who crunch economical models for a living.

In fact, the Lewin Group is an independent and well-respected
national health care and human services policy research and consult-
ing firm with expertise in modeling, statistics, and actuarial analysis
and more than 35 years of experience. They regularly analyze pro-
posals from Democrats and Republicans, non-profit foundations,
associations and for-profit corporations, across the ideological spect-
rum. While their estimates may differ from the Congressional Budget
Office, they are not alone in projecting that millions of Americans will
lose their private coverage if there is a government-run health plan.

In 2007, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Bob Bennett
(R-UT) said in a joint op/ed in the Wall Street Journal: “The Lewin
Group [is] the gold standard of independent, health-care analysis.”

SEIU stands to gain handsomely from President Obama’s health care
reform, as it currently represents 17% of hospital employees across
the nation. Its end goal is to unionize 100% of those employees, and
how better to do that than to help President Obama ”reform” the
industry in its favor? Our children’s public schools are gripped into
submission and substandard care by teacher’s unions, and now SEIU
hopes to duplicate this money and power in the health care industry.

SEIU President Andy Stern will tell you that he wants to “build a
health care system that works for everybody.” Hmm, that seems
genuine. But SEIU’s history shows greater care for union dues than
your health.

In October 2005, the SEIU and their sister organization ACORN ruth-
lessly bussed in vanloads of sick supporters to two Chicago emergency
rooms to teach them a lesson for not unionizing by overloading the ER
and harassing the doctors and nurses on duty. The result was a very
long day and insufficient care for all.

Even former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala
called out SEIU for endangering their members during a hunger
strike in Florida saying: “We are devastated that the union is risking
the health and well-being of our students and the Unicco employees
by sanctioning an activity as drastic as a hunger strike.” Apparently,
five demonstrators were taken to the hospital, one with a mild stroke.

So when the SEIU attacks an independent organization revered by
people on all sides of the political spectrum in the name of improving
American health care, it stands to reason you should be skeptical of
their motives. Resorting to these “Chicago style” tactics won’t bring
about reform, and it won’t elevate this debate. What it will do is
distract America from the facts: millions stand to lose their private
insurance coverage if the President’s plan for health reform is enact-
ed. Period. for the latest news, research, and
analysis on health care reform.

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