CHICAGOLAND: 3 SEIU Locals Get HealthCare Waivers; SEIU Spent $28M on Obama Campaign…

Three SEIU Locals–Including Chicago Chapter–Waived From Obamacare Requirement

Monday, January 24, 2011
By Fred Lucas
[1]
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) rests her arm on an autographed copy of the health care law legislation. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(CNSNews.com) – Three local chapters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), whose political action committee spent $27 million supporting Barack Obama [2] in the 2008 presidential election, have received temporary waivers from a provision in the Obamacare law.
The three SEIU chapters include the Local 25 in Obama’s hometown of Chicago.
The waivers allow health insurance plans to limit how much they will spend on a policy holder’s medical coverage for a given year. Under the new health care law, however, such annual limits are phased out by the year 2014. (Under HHS regulations, annual limits can be no less than $750,000 for 2011, no less than $1.25 million in 2012 and no less than $2 million in 2013.)
The SEIU, with more than 2 million members nationally, includes health care workers, janitors, security guards, and state and local government workers.
The three SEIU locals, covering a total of 36,064 enrollees, are covered by the federal waivers, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
HHS gave a waiver [3] to Local 25 SEIU in Chicago with 31,000 enrollees on Oct. 1, 2010; to Local 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund with 4,544 enrollees on Oct. 10, 2010; and to the SEIU Local 1 Cleveland Welfare Fund with 520 enrollees on Nov. 15, 2010.
So far, the Obama administration has issued waivers to 222 entities, including businesses, unions and charitable organizations. Of that total, 45 were labor organizations.
A total of 1,507,418 enrollees are now included in the waivers [3]. More than one-third — 512,315 – of the enrollees affected were insured by union health plans.
SEIU Local 1199’s health plan put a $50,000 cap on medical expenses for its New Jersey nursing home workers, according to 1199 SEIU spokeswoman Leah Gonzalez. That’s $700,000 under the 2011 limit stipulated by HHS regulations.
In September, HHS announced it would grant waivers to employers to prevent some workers from losing their benefits if the insurer could not meet new health care law’s requirements on annual limits. The waivers are granted by HHS if the department determines “compliance with the interim final regulations would result in a significant decrease in access to benefits or a significant increase in premiums,” according to a Sept. 3 memo [4] by Steve L. Larson, director of the HHS Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.
Local 1199, SEIU’s Greater New York Benefit Fund, requested the waiver specifically with respect to its separate plan for New Jersey members, according to Gonzalez. This waiver primarily affects low-wage New Jersey nursing home workers whose health care plan provides medical, hospital, prescription, dental and vision benefits.
The New Jersey members now have an annual maximum health care benefit of $50,000. Gonzalez said fewer than 1 percent of members have ever reached that cap, and that those members who did received additional help.
“The members’ health benefits are paid for by the employer and are negotiated through collective bargaining,” Gonzalez said in a written statement to CNSNews.com. “Several years ago, facing limited dollars from the employers for this small group, the members themselves chose how to shape their health plan to get the most out of their coverage.”
Gonzalez added that prescriptions are excluded from the cap. “For example, if a member maxes out from a hospital stay, she/he can continue to get their life-saving medications throughout the year while accessing alternative coverage at low-cost community clinics.”
Neither SEIU Local 25 nor Local 1, nor the national organization responded to CNSNews.com’s request for comment.
The SEIU’s Committee on Political Education made $27,829,845.91 [2] in independent expenditures on Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. SEIU-affiliated groups in Illinois have long supported Obama’s campaigns and endorsed him for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2004. In 2008, the national union backed Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. (See earlier story. [5])

FBI Investigating SEIU’s Andy Stern

FBI Investigating SEIU’s Andy Stern

September 28th, 2010

TheBlaze.com

The FBI and the U.S. Labor Department are investigating prominent labor leader Andy Stern in their probe of corruption at the Service Employees International Union, according to two people who have been interviewed by federal agents.

The two organized labor officials met with federal agents this summer to answer questions about a six-figure book contract that Stern landed in 2006 and his role in approving money to pay the salary of an SEIU leader in California who allegedly performed no work.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation. The FBI and the Labor Department’s office of inspector general declined to comment for the record.

Read more.

Obama Enlists Radical Groups, SEIU, Labor Unions to Push for Amnesty

Posted by Jim Hoft on Monday, June 28, 2010, 8:18 PM

Barack Obama just enlisted his radical leftist groups, the SEIU and labor unions to push for amnesty this year.
The AP reported:

President Barack Obama is enlisting activists and labor leaders in a push for comprehensive immigration legislation that will showcase Republican opposition and include a speech by the president.

The strategy was discussed during a meeting Monday by a range of prominent labor leaders and activist groups. Participants said Obama reiterated his support for immigration legislation but noted the political realities that have stalled it in Congress.

Latino leaders say they will work in coming months to pressure Republicans to give way and support an immigration bill — and make opponents pay at the ballot box if they don’t.

“We’re going to make absolutely crystal clear who’s at fault here,” said Eliseo Medina, a leader of the Service Employees International Union.

Prospects for passage of comprehensive immigration legislation look bleak this election year, and even many Democrats are wary of wading into the hot-button issue. But Obama, who pledged as a candidate to make immigration reform a top priority during his first year in office, faces pressure from the Hispanic community to act — or at least to try.

Obama’s Thugocracy

Obama’s Thugocracy

May 22nd, 2010

By Andrea Tantaros  – FOXNews.com

This past Sunday, in one of the most aggressive and offensive intimidation tactics to date, hundreds of members of the largest union – the SEIU – stormed the front yard of Bank of America deputy general counsel Greg Baer’s home. The angry mob had bullhorns, signs and even broke the law by trespassing to bully Baer’s teenage son, the only one home at the time, who locked himself in the bathroom out of fear.

This is what unions do. They pressure politicians into spending too much. They push government into bad policy decisions. They sacrifice the private sector for the public sector. And now, they trespass and break the law only to scare the children of private citizens to get their way.
If you think the unions are working along, think again.

These protests, the ones storming Wall Street bank lobbies and now the private homes of bankers, are likely being carefully coordinated with the White House to increase their profile against the financial fat cats and help pass disgraced Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd’s financial regulatory bill.

Remember, when the White House visitor records were finally made public, it was SEIU boss Andy Stern who was the most frequent guest.

There are also no coincidences in politics. The bill passed the Senate last night.

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