Update: SEIU contacted me to say that Andy would in no way be "happy" with triggers–he was asked a hypothetical question and answered it in this way. One of the SEIU’s three demands is a public health insurance option, and the union has been running one of the largest field campaigns in support of that. I’ve changed the post to more accurately represent Andy’s comments.
It’s bad enough that a guy who usually has just as much fight as Rahm is telling ABC that
he’d be happy with triggers triggers are a better compromise than co-ops.
He signaled that a more acceptable compromise might be to create a public option whose creation is only triggered if certain circumstances are met.
"It’s obviously better than no public option," said Stern.
Triggers, of course, are Rahm’s favorite gimmick. And Andy-who-sounds-like Rahm must know that triggers mean people who need healthcare now won’t get it until two years beyond whenever this finally gets implemented–years and years down the road. So answer me this, Andy-who-sounds-like-Rahm? Do you really think delaying health care for millions is going to solve the problem you enunciate about winning in 2010?
"I think we’re talking losing control of Congress," said Andy Stern, the President of the Service Employees International Union. "[The failure of health-care reform] would totally empower Republicans to kill all change."
"It’s hard to imagine the Democrats convincing the public that Republicans are to blame for health-care reform going down when the Democrats have such large majorities," he added. "After last year’s promise of change, voters will start feeling buyer’s remorse."
You’re telling me people are not going to feel buyer’s remorse if the Democrats take that same large majority and tell them they can have health care, but only after their current, pre-existing condition either bankrupts or kills them?
"Oh, sure, we lost Dad when good healthcare could have saved him, but we still love the Democrats because Rahm asked so nicely for that two year delay in the guise of triggers and the rest of the Democrats gave it to him."
What surprises me is that Andy-who-sounds-like Rahm knows, in a way that I suspect Rahm doesn’t, how much misery that seemingly innocuous idea of triggers would unnecessarily cause a lot of people.
But I think I’ve discovered why Andy sounds so much like Rahm.
Stern is prepared to use SEIU resources to pressure recalcitrant Democrats in Congress if progress is not made by Sept. 15, the deadline which Senate Finance Committee negotiators have set for themselves.
For now, however, he is holding his fire against fellow Democrats since the president has signaled through his staff that he does not want Democrats shooting at one another.
"We call it: ‘helping the president be successful,’" said Stern with a smile.
Almost word-for-word the prettied up version of Rahm’s fuck-laden attack on the liberal groups "in the veal pen." It’s not that Andy sounds like Rahm–after all, he said neither fuck nor blowjob. Rather, Andy sounds like he has been in the veal pen too long.
Update: the article has been updated to include the following after the trigger comment:
While Stern left the impression that a public option with a trigger was a more acceptable compromise than a co-op, he stopped short of actually endorsing the trigger approach.
I want to belong to a Democratic coalition that recognizes the public option is the compromise!!