Union-controlled Health Care VEBA a License to Steal?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

TTAC's best and brightest were not slow off the mark on this one: GM's plan to put $50b into the hands of the United Auto Workers for a union-controlled health care superfund could lead to epic fraud, leaving union members without adequate coverage. The Director of the National Legal and Policy Center's Organized Labor Accountability Project and editor of Union Corruption Update sounds the alarm. "Union-controlled health and benefit plans often shortchange union members and retirees," Dr. Carl Horowitz warns. "Instead of getting the best deal for participants, these plans are often characterized by cozy, inside deals beneficial to the union bosses, and on occasion, organized crime. With the staggering size of this proposed health fund, the UAW bosses must be salivating." In case you didn't notice, Dr. Horowitz (who still has both legs intact) thinks Congress should hold hearings on the health care deal– or else. "Neither GM nor the UAW can be counted on to act in the best interests of workers. Putting the union in charge of this health fund creates a potentially huge conflict of interest for UAW leaders."

[Interview w/Dr. Horowitz below.]

Robert Farago
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  • Zenith Zenith on Sep 30, 2007

    Hospitals can't refuse to treat you if you don't have money or insurance, but they can sure as hell dun you and eventually ruin your credit if you don't pay promptly enough to suit them. My daughter couldn't pay for gall bladder surgery. The surgeons treated her, the business office mistreated her. Every solo attempt to set up an extended payment plan was met with, "Pay up in 120 days or it goes to a collection agency and all the credit bureaus get notified." She enlisted the help of a nonprofit credit counseling service who got every one of her creditors,except the hospital, on board with extended payments. She ended up in bankruptcy. All this crap about wasteful GOVERNMENT bureaucracy and not one word from you right-wing whackos about the insurance companies and their high advertising and sales budgets, lavish office buildings, lavish executive salaries, etc. Big business--insurance cos., hospital chains, etc. are always good--bureaucrats always bad. You people and your Saint Rush need to lay off the oxycontin.

  • Hltguy Hltguy on Sep 30, 2007

    Carlos.Ngero: I am gald you had a successful medical event overseas, I presume all your future care will be done overseas also. You go overseas and pay your medical bill, unfortunately most of the people who come to the U.S. do not pay their medical bills, see the difference? You want to know why healthcare is expensive in America, amoung other reasons, how many millions of people get free healthcare here that are not even citizens? How many lawyers are there overseas that sue at the drop of a hat? You are correct, I do not trust giving the money to the Senator Craig's of the world or any other politician, Democrat or Republican. Your assumption is that I am a Republican, they have screwed the system also, it was the Republicans who initiated the stupid prescription drug program a few years ago that is grossly over priced and was not needed. They are as responsible as the Democrats. Let me ask you this question: You seem to appreciate socialized medicine such as the UK, where is the U.S. going to get the money to pay for health care for all? You say stop the wars? great, the U.S. is already so far in debt, it will never get itself out of it. By the way, it is laughable you would compare the healthcare system in Mexico to the U.S., you are kidding right? I once did a consulting project in Mexico involving healthcare and the treatment centers most people go there were deplorable. Why do you think so many of their citizens come acrooss the border for healthcare here? Again, healthcare is so expensive here because: 1) The government overburdened hand is involved (thank you Lyndon Johnson, you idiot) 2) "Free" healthcare being given to millions of people 3) High tech and pharmaceutical advances unseen anywhere in the world on a large scale and without precedent in the history of the world 4) A population that does not take care of itself, obesity, smoking, drugs, alcohol etc 5) A population that demands that most high tech and best drugs anytime anywhere, as long as someone else pays for it 6) The loss of "value" perception by the public of the true cost of healthcare 7) Trial lawyers (see John Edwards' rise to huge wealth)(By the way, the average attorney earns twice per hour as the average physician) 8) Greedy doctors who harm the hard working ethical doctors Please check the financial condition of the UK healthcare system, or France's or India's or Mexico.. The glorious scenario yoou describe in some of those areas has a dark underside.

  • HawaiiJim HawaiiJim on Sep 30, 2007

    hltguy: Kindly provide us with the source for your statement that "the average attorney earns twice per hour as the average physician."

  • Carlos.negros Carlos.negros on Sep 30, 2007

    htlguy: It appears you have swallowed the right wing argument hook, line and sinker. No, I won't go abroad for my health care. Instead, I will contribute my money to candidates who support fixing our broken system. But actually, I would consider sending my children abroad for a university education. The cost is far, far less than here, with "free enterprise." The rising cost of medical care is not due to malpractice lawsuits. Even when malpractice awards have been limited by legislation, insurance companies have increased rates. The U.S. medical system is nothing more than crony-capitalism. There is no competition. The number of doctors is limited by law. The state medical schools are taxpayer funded, (private schools also get grants), pharmaceutical companies are some of the biggest lobbyists in D.C. The laws we pass are for the good of the for-profit industry. Have you read about the condition of our corporate-owned nursing homes lately? Ever try negotiating for the cost of an aspirin in a hospital? An MRI? Sure, these are commodities. But they are not treated as such in the U.S.A. Here, we have no market pressure to exert on medical costs. Don't like the government, huh? Why don't we ditch the police and have voluntary speed limits? Why don't we ditch the EPA and just let the paper companies dump dioxin in our drinking water? What they do with their toxic waste could be voluntary. You can blame LBJ for Medicare, but congress saw that seniors were eating cat food, and were homeless and were destitute, so they passed a law to take care of them. Bush and his cronies in congress have tried to bankrupt Medicare, destroy Social Security and balloon the deficit in order to prevent any progress in dealing with social problems such as access to higher education. It won't work. Soon, the tables will be turned. And just like I hate seeing $12 Billion a month go to the war in Iraq, you can suffer watching as some of that money goes to saving the lives of pre-mature babies, or removing a tumor from an otherwise healthy person before it metastasizes. You can let it eat you up as you watch a well deserving low income person get a grant for college. Yes, less for Blackwater. More for blacks. As far as as other first world countries go, if I were uninsured, I would rather live there in a heartbeat. And no, you can't send me away. You are stuck with me and my campaign contributions. In the end, it is those with the most money who buy the legislation and every elected office in America. It is those with money who prevail. Thank all the Gods for George Soros. He will go down in history as the most generous multi-billionaire in history.