Labor unions are going to grow and increase their power in health care and the government, two economic sectors that are connected and will become even more entwined under legislation moving through Congress, argue Holman Jenkins in his weekly column in The Wall Street Journal.
“Consider a scheme being test-driven in Missouri, where Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, AFSCME, and SEIU last year backed a ballot proposition to create a Missouri Quality Homecare Council,” writes Jenkins.
“The ballot summary shown to voters said nothing about making it easier for in-home care providers to unionize. But that was precisely the function. Now some 13,000 home health workers hired by patients but paid for by Medicaid are on the verge of being recognized as a union.”
Will collective bargaining mean higher Medicaid costs for Missouri taxpayers?
Gov. Nixon, whose campaign reportedly received $650,000 from SEIU and AFCSME, hasn’t breathed a word about that, writes Jenkins.
“In Canada, where health care is largely government controlled, 61 percent of health-care workers are unionized. In the U.S., it's only 11 percent. Democrats are bent on changing that and the bills floating around Capitol Hill are rife with provisions to replicate the Missouri scheme nationally,” writes Jenkins.
Others are reporting that health care cost inflation is kicking in here in the U.S. even for already unionized government workers.
A report in The Washington Post today indicates that federal government employees enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will fork over an average 8.8 percent more in health-care costs next year, per figures released by the Office of Personnel Management.
The increase represents an average $5.98 increase per paycheck for an employee with individual health-care coverage, and an average $12.87 spike for workers whose plans cover families, OPM said.
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