Sunday, March 11, 2012

SEIU's “Dishonest Dave” Busted by Los Angeles Times

It looks like SEIU’s Dave Regan -- whose aggressive lies during the 43,000-person Kaiser election caused the NLRB to overturn the election results -- is up to his same dishonest tricks.

Check out this breaking story in the Los Angeles Times. The article, published yesterday, reports that Regan’s SEIU-UHW has been circulating petitions in California to place two measures on the November ballot in order to “reform” the state’s healthcare industry. SEIU has been telling California’s voters, politicians and the media that the initiatives will protect California consumers from over-priced hospital services and will force hospitals to give more care to the poor. Sounds good, right?

Except it's not true!

According to the Los Angeles Times, SEIU inserted hidden loopholes into the ballot measures that completely exempt California's two largest hospital companies from all of the proposed laws' provisions. And get this... the two companies control at least 25% of California's hospitals! As one reader described it, it’s like writing a law to reform the U.S. auto industry, but exempting Ford and GM.

Here’s how the Los Angeles Times describes it:
As healthcare workers gathered outside California hospitals recently to collect signatures for two proposed ballot initiatives, they told voters the measures would rein in excessive hospital billings and expand healthcare for the poor.

Unspoken in the public pitch was the fact that the measures, backed by the Service Employees International Union and aimed at private hospitals, would have a major effect on facilities the union has tried unsuccessfully to organize, while exempting those where many of its members work.

Dignity Health [formerly called Catholic Healthcare West], the state's largest hospital chain, and Kaiser Permanente, the largest HMO, would not be subject to the proposals. The measures would prohibit their private competitors from charging more than 25% above the actual cost of providing care and require nonprofits to devote at least 5% of their patient revenue to free care for the poor. The union represents nearly 60,000 workers in those two systems.
And consumer advocates say SEIU’s proposals would…
ultimately result in a competitive advantage for the already dominant players in California's healthcare market. But the proposals would fail to eliminate the problems of medical inflation and inadequate charity care. At least a quarter of California's private hospitals would be exempted from the measures, according to the state's nonpartisan legislative analyst and others.
The president of Consumer Watchdog, a California advocacy organization, is quoted as saying: "There's no good reason" to exclude Kaiser and Dignity, "two of the largest providers in the state."

And it gets worse... It turns out that Regan has systematically lied to the media about the measures. A journalist at the Sacramento Business Journal -- who apparently was never informed by SEIU’s Steve Trossman about the massive loopholes hidden in the proposals’ small font -- penned a gushing article describing how the ballot initiatives “seek to rein in health care costs and ensure charity care to needy residents.” The article says the initiatives “would require all hospitals to charge patients reasonable rates based on the actual cost of providing care” and even includes quotes from Dave Regan like this one:
“Companies that operate tax-free should not be permitted to overcharge consumers, and they should be required to meet their charitable duty by providing a reasonable level of services for prevention, treatment and wellness to those in need.”
Of course, both Kaiser and Catholic Healthcare West are tax-free, but were carefully exempted from the "reform" initiatives.

And that’s not all. Regan also lied to SEIU-UHW’s own members... even as he asked them to volunteer to collect signatures to qualify the initiatives for the ballot. Here’s an excerpt from a letter that Regan sent to SEIU-UHW members about the ballot initiatives (click here to see the full letter):

And Regan personally signed the letter.

And here’s the kicker. Regan is using $5.5 million of SEIU-UHW members’ dues money to foist this massive fraud on California voters. Check out this resolution that Regan pushed through the union’s Executive Board to authorize the expenditure of the $5.5 million. And take special note that the resolution never discloses the massive loopholes that were carefully inserted in the so-called “reform” measures.

So what does Regan say now?  Well, after he was busted by an LA Times reporter, here's how he responded (for full quotation in the LA Times article) to the revelations that his carefully crafted loopholes would exempt one-quarter of California’s hospitals from SEIU’s so-called “industry-wide reforms:”

"If people want to criticize that we only got three-fourths, then so be it."

Way to go, Dave!!!