Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

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Yesterday, the “public option” of health care reform let out its last breadth (at least for now).  It died in the Senate Finance Committee, publicly scorned, and privately–who knows.  Perhaps a few tears were shed.

Among those who watched its rapid decline, labor unions find little reason to mourn, posits an opinion piece today in the Wall Street Journal. They didn’t really want reform after all, says writer Holman Jenkins, Jr.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Union members not only like the tax-free, open-ended health -care benefits they’re used to getting. More important and often overlooked, organized labor itself is increasingly made up of health-care workers who benefit from an incentive system that artificially force-feeds great gobs of GDP into the industry’s maw.

Their long retreat elsewhere in the economy may continue unabated, but unions are steadily growing their clout in government and health care, two sectors that increasingly overlap and would become even more overlapped under the bills in Congress.

Is this why some unions publicly stated that they wanted health care reform–all or nothing, despite public outcry and a desire for compromise?

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