Patient Power Is Dead: Hard Work and Medicare for All

The Power of the Patient Is Dead: A Guided Tour of the Left’s Advocacy for Government Control of Health Care Dollars (Complete Series)
Obamacare and alternatives | Health insurance for all
Big Labor and Medicare for All
Unions and the ACA | Promoters of the status quo
The Arabella Network | Arabella’s secret election plans in 2018

Big Labor and Medicare for All

United National Nursesanother of the groups listed in the Washington Post accounts of the 2017 foray into congressional offices, is a vocal left-wing union, which was one of the few to endorse Bernie Sanders for president in 2016. The union is also a strong supporter health insurance for all. The syndicate annual report 2021 at the Department of Labor showed it had more than 156,000 members, collected dues of more than $13.3 million, and spent nearly $1.9 million on “political and lobbying activities.”

National Nurses United is just one of many major left-wing unions promoting Medicare for All.

The following unions have been listed as supporters of Medicare for All in at least one of the press releases from the offices of Senator Sanders or Representative Jayapal:

The NEA has an extremely strong political influence. At least $66 million of his 2021 spending was clearly flagged as “political and lobbying activities.” But that doesn’t include an additional $117.8 million paid in the form of “contributions, gifts and grants.” These “gifts” were often very political. Some of the larger examples include over $2.4 million for the States Committee and other projects of the Democratic Alliancea network of wealthy left-leaning donors who collectively fund projects to help elect Democrats.

  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The second-largest teachers’ union (1.7 million members) and another of the nation’s largest public worker unions collected $196.7 million in dues in the year ending June 2021. AFT declared expenses $48.8 million for political activities and lobbying in 2021.

However, a July 2019 report on the left-wing media website ThinkProgress AFT cited the example of a union supporting a single payer “on paper” rather than “actually married to”. The AFT chairman told ThinkProgress the group “supports various plans”, including one that, unlike single-payer, would allow private insurance for some patients.

  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The SEIU, with 1.8 million members, is both one of America’s largest unions and one of the most trusted on the left. He took in $255 million in dues in 2020 and reported spending $60 million on political activities and lobbying. In addition to supporting specific Congressional legislation, delegates to the SEIU National Convention approved a resolution endorsing Medicare for All in 2016.

But the SEIU was also listed by ThinkProgress as an “on paper” but not necessarily “married” supporter of single-payer. A SEIU official said the union group supported “a range of health system improvements”, rather than just Medicare for All. SEIU affiliates, such as 1199SEIU (see below) have always been very active in promoting the expansion of Medicaid, a key provision of the Affordable Care Act.

In the next installment, many unions are also pushing for a more phased approach to building Obamacare.

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