Friday, October 16, 2015

Consumer Watchdog: ‘Death Rattle Shakes Dave Regan’s Pact with California Hospital Association’

Jamie Court, President of Consumer Watchdog
Today, the President of Consumer Watchdog reported the following news about SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan’s deal with the California Hospital Association in a blog:
Word on the street is that union President Dave Regan's Faustian bargain with the California hospital industry -- cuddle up with hospitals' management to keep patient problems quiet and receive more than 60,000 new hospital workers -- is now teetering on the brink of collapse. Apparently Regan shut up, but the hospitals didn't put up the new workers. Good riddance.

Consumer Watchdog, founded by public interest lawyer Harvey Rosenfield, is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization with offices in California and Washington, DC. It has won legislation to reform HMOs and utility companies as well as court battles to defend consumers against banks, oil companies and insurance corporations.

Jamie Court, Consumer Watchdog's president, describes additional details about SEIU-UHW's "Pax-Lucifer" with the CHA in today’s blog on his organization's website:
Inside sources says talks between the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) and the California Hospital Association (CHA), the industry's lobbying group, have stalled...

As a result... Regan reportedly is now considering re-filing the same statewide ballot initiatives that he’s already filed (and withdrawn) twice at a cost of tens of millions of dollars to SEIU-UHW's membership. According to Court:
Regan may be threatening to take those two initiatives out of the closet again as a club for the hospitals, but it's not clear he has the money or connections to actually get them to the ballot. No one with any juice wants to work with Regan anymore.  He had 70,000 of his 150,000 members recently stripped from UHW and has lost any leverage to gain more members. Can you hear the death rattle for the corporate collaborator?

Court describes how SEIU-UHW threw patients and consumers under the bus in exchange for Regan’s backroom deal to add more workers to the union's membership rolls:
[SEIU-UHW’s] labor-management deal with the hospital industry is a business model to stop the public and regulators from knowing about quality of care problems at hospitals -- one pioneered by SEIU-UHW at Kaiser Permanente for years...
The most pernicious part of the Pax-Lucifer was that Regan agreed the union would never oppose any hospital industry political position or have a public difference of opinion in the policy world.  That's led his union's name to be affiliated with many anti-patient positions, including opposition to health insurance rate regulation, patient safety protections and good consumer bills. His slap down by SEIU leaders was well deserved. Now he's getting the other side of the hand from the hospital industry.  It's a cautionary tale. But Regan doesn't strike me as guy who knows his Faust.

As Regan thinks about re-filing his ballot initiatives, he might wanna take a glance at a new law approved last year by California’s governor that turns Regan's ballot-initiative bamboozle into a crime punishable by up to three years in jail. 

Then again, Dave might look good in pinstripes...

Here's a link to Jamie Court’s full blog.