On Saturday, the House passed H.R. 3962, a health care bill which includes a public option. The Alliance for Worker Freedom sent out the following press release to highlight some of the lesser known effects government-run health care can have on unionzation rates, and costs.
Click here to view AWF’s press release as a PDF Document
A lot has been made of Pelosi’s recently passed H.R. 3962 health care bill, legislation which intends to provide coverage to all Americans. While the bill does give more Americans coverage, it does so in the most ineffective way possible- by further muddling up the health care system with a government program, a public option. Through a slew of accounting gimmicks, collecting taxes for three years before the public option begins and by claiming to cut billions of dollars in found waste, fraud, and abuse that just aren’t there, Democrat’s claim that their pet project, a public option, is deficit neutral.
While it is universally accepted that H.R. 3962 does nothing to curb the increasing cost of health care for Americans and that it will increase the deficit by untold amounts, there is still a myriad of consequences that are often overlooked by pundits and politicians.
One such consequence rarely, if ever, discussed is the effect government-run health care will have on unionization rates in the U.S. Currently, public sector unionization rates are about five times that of private sector workers, 37 and 8 percent, respectfully. Under Obama-Reid-Pelosi healthcare legislation, all healthcare workers become quasi-government employees as they will be paid from a federally funded insurance plan. Thus, a federally funded insurance program facilitates unionization which increases the overall costs of health care- unionized workers receive inflated wages and retirement packages.
If all this seems abstract, just look north to Canada, a country with a single-payer system. Under the Canadian government-run health care system 63% of health care workers are unionized, compared to only 12 percent of U.S. health care workers.
James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation writes that “the greater unionization would raise the cost of hospital coverage by approximately $27 billion in 2013 and by $192 billion in the 2013-2018 period.” Collective bargaining agreements are notoriously generous and force employers, in this case hospitals, to raise their price of goods or services (medical treatment). The more health care workers become unionized, the more expensive health care becomes.
The scary thing is that increased unionization is only one consequence of H.R. 3962, a 2000 page bill. Who knows how far the ripple effect will extend from the public option bombshell. It is impossible to predict all the effects that such sweeping legislation will have on America.