7 votes

Nevada culinary union lays into Sanders supporters after health care backlash

16 comments

  1. [11]
    pseudolobster
    (edited )
    Link
    Matt Bruenig took a look at the union's healthcare plan, and apparently it's not great. Any member who works less than 30hrs/wk needs to pay premiums, and many services have co-pays. Naturally...

    Matt Bruenig took a look at the union's healthcare plan, and apparently it's not great. Any member who works less than 30hrs/wk needs to pay premiums, and many services have co-pays. Naturally anyone working more than 30 hours doesn't pay premiums out of pocket, but that money is still coming out of their wages one way or another. Sanders' plan would require the money currently spent on premiums to go directly to employees, essentially giving everyone a raise.

    The union's workers have started a petition to the union, showing their support for Sanders.

    23 votes
    1. Micycle_the_Bichael
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It’s been so interesting to watch because this is the second instance this election cycle of a union voicing support for Bernie and then its members voicing outrage at it. I don’t remember the...

      It’s been so interesting to watch because this is the second instance this election cycle of a union voicing support for Bernie and then its members voicing outrage at it. I don’t remember the previous union, maybe NUHC or American Teachers Federation? But they voiced support for Warren and union members were split between Warren and Sanders. It was some moderately-influential progressive group.

      Edit: LOL I said "a candidate" instead of Bernie when I meant to specifically say Bernie! The media's tendency to erase Bernie has seeped into my brain!!! Edited to specify WHICH candidate this has happened to ;)

      4 votes
    2. [8]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      It seems like this analysis is incomplete. If the employees don't pay for health care, who does?

      It seems like this analysis is incomplete. If the employees don't pay for health care, who does?

      1 vote
      1. [7]
        pseudolobster
        Link Parent
        The employer. The union negotiates with the employer about how much the employer pays for premiums. They've agreed to pay 100% for workers that work more than 30 hours, and under that the...

        The employer. The union negotiates with the employer about how much the employer pays for premiums. They've agreed to pay 100% for workers that work more than 30 hours, and under that the employees make up the difference out of pocket at a rate of $4.74/hr for the missing hours.

        The assumption this article makes is that $4.74 per hour times 30 hours/wk is the total cost paid by the employer. They're using that figure to say at an average of $23/hr, premiums are eating 20% of the employees wages. I'm not sure anyone other than the union and the employer knows the real number, so I'd take that with a grain of salt.

        5 votes
        1. [6]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          I meant under Sander's plan, who pays and how does that affect workers?

          I meant under Sander's plan, who pays and how does that affect workers?

          1. [4]
            NaraVara
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            In a M4A program the state pays for the healthcare and it's off the table as a subject for negotiation between the union and management. Union concerns with the Sanders proposal is that it gets...

            In a M4A program the state pays for the healthcare and it's off the table as a subject for negotiation between the union and management.

            Union concerns with the Sanders proposal is that it gets rid of the need for the healthcare programs, but the unions themselves have sacrificed a ton (pay increases, defined benefit pensions, fringe benefits, etc.) to get those health plans and it will take years and years of renegotiation to start clawing back an equivalent amount of utility. They get the premiums back as a wage increase, but it doesn't match the value of the healthcare plan generally.

            Basically think of it like you depleted your savings account for a year to be able to afford a beater of a car and then the city confiscates your car, sells it, and puts the proceeds towards building a fancy new commuter rail line for you. The rail line is ostensibly better, more comfortable, cheaper over the long run, and better for the community as a whole. BUT you sacrificed your savings for that car and you're not getting any of it back, so it's understandable you'd be a bit salty about it.

            FWIW, Warren's M4A plan includes a transition period that mandates wage increases to (partially) replace the value of the insurance policy. It's a better plan, but comparing details that specific on election plans is a bit like comparing whether I'd be more comfortable in a Bentley or a Maybach. Fun to talk about, but not something I'll ever find out first-hand.

            11 votes
            1. [3]
              wycy
              Link Parent
              Health insurance is pretty fungible (with the exception of the cheapo crap plans), so it's more like the city confiscates your car and then gives you a slightly better car. The rest of the analogy...

              Basically think of it like you depleted your savings account for a year to be able to afford a beater of a car and then the city confiscates your car, sells it, and puts the proceeds towards building a fancy new commuter rail line for you.

              Health insurance is pretty fungible (with the exception of the cheapo crap plans), so it's more like the city confiscates your car and then gives you a slightly better car. The rest of the analogy mostly holds up--you may have sacrificed over the years to get that car, and then you end up getting the car for free.

              It's somewhat analogous to student loan forgiveness plans. People who paid back their loans early (e.g., me) sacrificed money over the years and then the federal government just steps in to forgive it all for everyone else.

              Personally I'm in favor of both M4A and student loan forgiveness despite my own lack of student debt and the fact that I'd probably pay more in the long run for health care given my relatively highly paid job. Just pointing out that the analogy can be extended.

              4 votes
              1. [2]
                NaraVara
                Link Parent
                It sort of is and sort of isn’t. Student loans are a one time thing than sort of hangs over people. Health insurance is a more perpetual part of a compensation package. Another big part of it is...

                It's somewhat analogous to student loan forgiveness plans. People who paid back their loans early (e.g., me) sacrificed money over the years and then the federal government just steps in to forgive it all for everyone else.

                It sort of is and sort of isn’t. Student loans are a one time thing than sort of hangs over people. Health insurance is a more perpetual part of a compensation package.

                Another big part of it is people are just anxious about whether the Medicare for all plan will actually work well. Will there be enough doctors? Will you be able to get an appointment when you need it? Lots of unknowns that you kind of just have to have faith in the political leadership to do right. I can totally see why people might default to the devil they know.

                1. wycy
                  Link Parent
                  Analogies are only analogies, so they'll always break down somewhere. But the breakdowns cut both ways, positively and negatively. The car analogy could be further refined: the car that you worked...

                  It sort of is and sort of isn’t.

                  Analogies are only analogies, so they'll always break down somewhere. But the breakdowns cut both ways, positively and negatively. The car analogy could be further refined: the car that you worked for years to "earn" is really only on loan to you from your employer, and could be taken away at any time. Furthermore, the anxiety over losing said car is a bargaining chip against you in compensation negotiations. The car given by the government is guaranteed for life, regardless of how useful your boss thinks you are.

                  Another big part of it is people are just anxious about whether the Medicare for all plan will actually work well.

                  Definitely. Change can be scary.

                  3 votes
          2. pseudolobster
            Link Parent
            Employers will still pay some, taxes will pay for the rest. There'll also be a big savings not having to pay for all the middlemen in the current system. The new tax scheme would be more...

            Employers will still pay some, taxes will pay for the rest. There'll also be a big savings not having to pay for all the middlemen in the current system. The new tax scheme would be more progressive, with the rich paying more, the middle class not so much, and the poor already don't pay tax. There's also closing of some tax loopholes, a wealth tax, and an inheritance tax involved.

            I'll admit I haven't read into it all that much - I'm Canadian, so this doesn't really affect me. I keep hearing though from various articles that he has a solid plan though.

            Here's his proposal: https://www.sanders.senate.gov/download/options-to-finance-medicare-for-all?inline=file

            4 votes
  2. [2]
    no_exit
    Link
    Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the spokesperson responsible for this statement, is a board member at the Center for American Progress. CAP is a union busting, establishment Democrat think tank,...

    Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the spokesperson responsible for this statement, is a board member at the Center for American Progress. CAP is a union busting, establishment Democrat think tank, currently headed by outspoken Sanders critic Neera Tanden.

    9 votes
    1. NaraVara
      Link Parent
      A.) I’m not seeing her here B.) Executive board members argue about stuff all the time. Merely being coworkers or associate advisors within an org doesn’t mean you’re in some kind of lockstep...

      Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the spokesperson responsible for this statement, is a board member at the Center for American Progress. CAP is a union busting, establishment Democrat think tank, currently headed by outspoken Sanders critic Neera Tanden.

      A.) I’m not seeing her here

      B.) Executive board members argue about stuff all the time. Merely being coworkers or associate advisors within an org doesn’t mean you’re in some kind of lockstep agreement with every aspect of it. Especially so with a think tank, where the entire point is to have a diversity of thought internally. Like, Stacy Abrams is on the board of directors there.

      C.) A (admittedly quick and dirty) perusal of their publications doesn’t give me an anti-union impression of their agenda. Quite the opposite.

      1 vote
  3. [2]
    SantalBlush
    Link
    This is precisely why a public option would be a disaster for the future of US health care. It creates stronger incentives to gut it, thereby making private health care look superior by...

    The future of union-negotiated health care plans has been a major point of contention surrounding single-payer plans like the one Sanders and Warren have backed, and has split union leaders. Opponents of Medicare for All have argued that such a system would boot union workers off their hard-won insurance plans, with no guarantee that a single-payer system would be as good.

    This is precisely why a public option would be a disaster for the future of US health care. It creates stronger incentives to gut it, thereby making private health care look superior by comparison. That in turn allows conservatives to claim vindication for fighting against it in the first place. Any publicly provided care would remain inferior and underfunded, and its presence would prove a blessing for private insurance.

    If you want a program to succeed, include the middle class as stakeholders so they will fight for its survival.

    5 votes
    1. skybrian
      Link Parent
      The tricky bit seems to be how to avoid making them stakeholders fighting for their current health plan?

      The tricky bit seems to be how to avoid making them stakeholders fighting for their current health plan?

      3 votes
  4. skybrian
    Link
    From the article: [...] [...]

    From the article:

    The flier, obtained by The Nevada Independent, conveys approval for the health care plans of four candidates — former Vice President Joe Biden, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and the billionaire businessman Tom Steyer — who it says would “protect Culinary Healthcare.”

    But Sanders, it says, would “end Culinary Healthcare” and “require Medicare for All” if elected president.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who has embraced Sanders’ Medicare proposal with a three-year transition period, would “replace Culinary Healthcare” at the end of the transition period or at the end of collective bargaining negotiations, the flier says.

    [...]

    [T]he group, which boasts 60,000 members from the hospitality industry in Las Vegas and Reno and bills itself as the one of the state’s largest health care consumers, doubled down on its criticism amid the outcry from supporters of the senator.

    [...]

    “It’s disappointing that Senator Sanders’ supporters have viciously attacked the Culinary Union and working families in Nevada simply because our union has provided facts on what certain health care proposals might do to take away the system of care we have built over eight decades,” she said, noting that Sanders had participated in Culinary town halls and toured the union’s facilities.