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SEIU 1199: Um, we lied to our members about Obamacare woes

By Michelle Malkin  •  December 2, 2010 09:29 AM

The backpedaling Purple Army bosses are running scared.

As you know from my column yesterday, the mammoth SEIU 1199 chapter dropped kiddie coverage and specifically blamed the Obamacare slacker mandate for raising costs.

Reminder from the WSJ report on the union’s woes:

More than 30,000 low-wage families will be affected, according to The Wall Street Journal. Who’s to blame? SEIU 1199 benefits manager Mitra Behroozi singled out oppressive new state and federal regulations, including the much-ballyhooed Obamacare rule forcing insurers to cover dependents well into their 20s:

“…(N)ew federal health-care reform legislation requires plans with dependent coverage to expand that coverage up to age 26,” Behroozi explained in an Oct. 22 letter to members. “Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible, and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible.”

Well, someone got to SEIU 1199 — and now there’s a new message:

“The 1199 SEIU Home Care Employees Benefit Fund did not drop dependent coverage because of the new federal healthcare reform law. We applaud the new law’s commitment to extend coverage to millions of working Americans who are currently uninsured.

Our Fund was compelled to discontinue coverage for dependent children solely because insurance costs continued to rise, but state funding for these vulnerable, low-wage workers did not. Instead, state Medicaid funding to the home health services sector has been cut 9 separate times in just the last 3 years.

Most homecare workers often make less than $15,000 per year caring for the elderly, infirm and disabled and we worked to preserve coverage for their dependent children for as long as we possibly could.

Because most dependent children the Fund covered are eligible for New York State’s Child Health Plus program (CHP), in order to protect the coverage of our working members, they are transitioning to a member-only plan for now. We are also assisting impacted member families in enrolling their children into CHP to avoid any gaps in coverage.

As a not-for-profit Taft-Hartley Trust Fund jointly managed by representatives from both labor and management, their primary function is to maintain benefits for our members. However, the Fund has worked diligently over the years to provide cost effective dependent coverage for our members’ families whenever possible. We certainly hope that additional state funding to support health benefits for our homecare workers and their families will be made available in the future.

In 2014, the new federal healthcare law will expand coverage to 32 million children and adults through increased Medicaid funding to states. For millions of working families, this day cannot come soon enough.”

Uh-huh. So if the new spin is now Gospel Truth, shouldn’t SEIU 1199 apologize to the 30,000 families that received the letter blaming Obamacare for making children’s coverage “financially impossible?”

At least the new spin is honest about one thing: The goal is to destroy the private insurance market and shovel everyone into government-run health care. Not an unintended consequence, but a wholly intended one — as it has been from the get-go.

Posted in: Health care,SEIU

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