Another ObamaCare Showdown Looms in Congress

Both House and Senate-Passed Measures Promote Forced Unionism

(Source: January 2010 NRTWC Newsletter)

In November, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly adopted one version of President Obama’s health-care “reform” (H.R.3962).

And last month, exactly 60 (the minimum number necessary) U.S. senators voted to cut off continuing  debate by opponents of another version (H.R.3590). The Senate then rubber-stamped H.R.3590 while most Americans were nestled snugly in their beds early on Christmas Eve morning.

President Obama has already endorsed both H.R.3962 and H.R.3590, and is pressuring the House and Senate to get one of these measures, or more likely, a “compromise” blend of the two, to his desk for his signature within the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the National Right to Work Committee and its growing base of 2.5 million members and supporters are fighting furiously to prevent the White House and Congress from making health-care “reform” a Trojan Horse for more forced unionism.

Granting New Special Privileges to Big Labor Could Disrupt Health Care

Tucked away in the two enormous bills now headed to a conference committee are new special privileges for Big Labor that, if granted, could have serious consequences for health-care employees and employers and the American economy as a whole.

For example, both H.R.3962 and H.R.3590 open the door for institution in all 50 states of forced-unionism schemes like those pursued by former Big Labor Govs. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.) and Gray Davis (D-Calif.).

Both governors repaid tremendous political debts to Service Employees International Union (SEIU) czar Andy Stern by reclassifying state-reimbursed in-home health-care contractors as state employees — and forcing them to pay union dues in order to continue receiving reimbursements.

And the more radical of the two bills, H.R.3962, grants Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, a longtime union-boss ally, tremendous discretionary authority to impose a new labor-relations regime on doctors and nurses treating “public-option” patients.

Ms. Sebelius could quickly make submission to union monopoly bargaining and payment of compulsory union dues required standards for “public-option” health-care workers across the country, resulting potentially in hundreds of thousands of doctors and nurses being corralled into unions.

History Shows That Monopoly Bargaining Encourages Strikes, Both Legal and Illegal

Another H.R.3962 provision would either exacerbate the horrendous national debt or foist an additional burden on taxpayers by furnishing $10 billion in bailout money for mismanaged union health-benefit funds.

“As long as ObamaCare retains such Big Labor special-interest provisions, including above all the provisions promoting the forced unionization of the health-care industry, Right to Work supporters will remain determined to defeat it,” said Committee President Mark Mix.

“Monopoly bargaining inflicts serious harm on employees, employers, and customers even in cases where it doesn’t, for one reason or another, result in disruptive strikes.

“And history shows that, even if a final ‘public-option’ scheme adopted by Congress putatively bans strikes, union bosses will nevertheless gain the power to shut down medical facilities with sick-outs and other such tactics.

“Doctors, nurses and other health-care workers will come under enormous pressure to abandon their patients at Big Labor’s behest, even if strikes are theoretically illegal.

“The Committee will do everything possible to prevent Big Labor from hijacking health-care reform.

“We are now prepared to launch a full-scale lobbying blitz, including TV ads targeting key senators if necessary, to defeat all the new special privileges for union bosses tucked away in pending health-care legislation.”

Right to Work Supporters Must Keep Turning up the Pressure on Capitol Hill

Mr. Mix expressed “cautious optimism” that the new special privileges for union bosses hidden in H.R.3962 and H.R.3590 can be defeated, but warned that the battle would be difficult:

“Right to Work supporters everywhere must keep turning up the pressure on Congress, or a health-care ‘reform’ that is really a Trojan Horse for forced unionism will indeed become the law of the land.

“Forcing people into a union in order to get reimbursed for caring for their sick children or elderly parents isn’t health-care reform. Nor is funneling additional billions of tax dollars into mismanaged union benefit funds health-care reform.

“Over the next few weeks, Congress needs to hear that message — over and over again.”