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Statement by SEIU International President Andy Stern on Dual Impact of the Banking and Health Care Crises on Working Families

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SEIU International President Andy Stern issued the following statement today regarding the combined impact of the banking crisis and rising health care costs on the nation's working families:

The news today that the banking crisis, foreclosures, and health care costs are colliding in the lives of ordinary Americans comes as no surprise.

Unfortunately, the real crisis is still to come. This week's financial meltdown is rapidly becoming an all out epidemic that is felt most acutely in living rooms, not in boardrooms. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates the final cost could eclipse the multibillion dollar bailout bill facing taxpayers today, edging closer to $1 trillion.

Now John McCain is proposing to do to the health care system what was already done to our financial and housing systems. At a time when the consequences of inadequate regulation on Wall Street are continuing to unfold, McCain is proposing a health care "plan" that will virtually ensure the worst of all possible worlds by pushing tens of millions of middle class Americans into the free market for their health care. McCain's proposals would actually encourage businesses to drop their health coverage, leaving working families to fend for themselves against the insurance companies. And for those of us lucky enough to keep our health coverage, Senator McCain would make us pay taxes on those benefits.

That's the McCain Plan: Less regulation for insurance companies, more costs and more risks for ordinary working families.

We can't let him get away with it. In the next 30 days health care workers and other working families will spread the word to voters about John McCain's disastrous plan, and serve notice to McCain, and drug and insurance companies who are contributing to skyrocketing health care costs: we stand with Barack Obama because we know he stands for us. Through SEIU's Healthcare United project, union and non-union health care workers in key states will reach out to other health care workers while the ordinary Americans currently getting lost in the system -- or shut out altogether -- will work to elect pro-health care leaders through SEIU's Americans for Healthcare program.

It's time to hold lawmakers, regulators, and Wall Street accountable for the financial and health care disaster that is threatening the economic security of millions of American families. The lesson from this week's devastating economic news could not be more clear: the longer we wait, the longer we do nothing, the worse it gets.

With 2 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America. Focused on uniting workers in three sectors to improve their lives and the services they provide, SEIU is the largest health care union, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home care; the largest property services union, including building cleaning and security; and the second largest public employee union.


Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

SOURCE Service Employees International Union

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