By: Brian Sikma

Buried deep within the verbosity of the 1,990 page healthcare reform bill meandering to passage in the Democrat controlled Congress on Capitol Hill, is a significant provision that will cost the American people billions of dollars more in bailouts.  The recipients of this bailout will be unions such as the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees Internal Union.  These unions are struggling to sustain the insurance plans they have provided for retired union members.  By seeking to make the federal government the backstop for any insurance insolvency they face, the unions are refusing to acknowledge that they are the ones responsible for the situation they now find themselves in. 

Other provisions in the bill give unions standing to advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services on healthcare matters and participate in some policy-making processes.  As programs are developed and contracts awarded as part of the massive reshaping of the nation’s healthcare system, it will be very hard for non-union organizations and businesses to effectively compete and win the new contracts.  If these unions cannot responsibly manage their own insurance programs, nothing makes them qualified to assist in a nationalized health insurance effort. 

Writing in the Huston Chronicle, a Texas-based attorney and healthcare expert has effectively sounded the alarm to the wide array of dangers posed by these relatively unknown and obscure provisions.