So what does it mean for the Nevada Culinary Workers Union to vehemently oppose Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All?
It can’t mean they’re opposed to healthcare as a right extended to all because that is a goal they claim to support:
“Our union believes that everyone has the right to good health care and that health care should be a right, not a privilege,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the group’s secretary-treasurer, adding that the union had already negotiated its own health care plan for “what working people need.” . . .
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.
But it can’t really mean they’re protecting their members because Medicare For All would not exclude their members. This opposition is to a plan that has yet to pass through the congressional meat grinder. Which is to say they don’t even know what they’re opposing.
So this opposition can only mean one thing: The union wants to maintain control over their members’ healthcare, presumably to leverage it as a benefit of union membership:
The Culinary Union, which provides health insurance to 130,000 workers and their family members through a special trust fund, strongly opposes Medicare for all on the basis that it would eliminate the health insurance they have negotiated for over several decades. Health insurance provided by the Culinary Health Fund is considered to be some of the best in the state, and the union even opened a 60,000-square-foot state-of-the-art health clinic a couple of years ago for its members.
It’s great that the union has done all this. But when the problem is defined as quality (that is, not Medicaid) healthcare being accessible to people regardless of what jobs they have, the union’s answer is clearly not an answer.
Megan Messerly, “In new flyer, Culinary Union warns members Sanders would ‘end’ their health care if elected president,” Nevada Independent, February 11, 2020, https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/in-new-flyer-culinary-union-warns-members-sanders-would-end-their-health-care-if-elected-president
Caitlin Oprysko, “Nevada culinary union lays into Sanders supporters after health care backlash,” Politico, February 12, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/12/bernie-sanders-nevada-culinary-union-114687