The Alliance for Retired Americans

Union's "administration" included a senior citizen lobbying group with a detailed agenda. Eighteenth in a series.

Thousands of home-based health care providers have been forced into a union because they receive assistance from the state while they take care of loved ones who are disabled. The Service Employees International Union receives close to $6 million annually in forced dues from this abusive arrangement. 

House Bill 4003 would end this injustice by clarifying that Michiganders who care for relatives in their own homes are not government employees, and hence are not appropriate targets for government unions. That bill has passed the House but is stuck in the Senate. While we wait for the Senate to act, the SEIU continues to siphon money that was meant to help families.

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Here's another example of where that money might be going, drawn from the SEIU's 2010 LM-2 report:

The Alliance for Retired Americans received $125,000 from the SEIU in 2010. The union characterized this expenditure as "union administration."

In 2010 when it received this support from the union, ARA had a lengthy and detailed policy agenda. ARA's agenda covered 26 pages and included such items as:

  • Comprehensive Medicare prescription drug coverage for all recipients, with no means testing;
  • Opposition to the "shielding of savings and investment income" through the use of health care and medical savings accounts (HSAs and MSAs are a key component of many free-market health care reforms. They allow individuals to provide for their own health care needs; and the withdrawal of tax-free status would greatly diminish the value of the accounts.);
  • Expanded eligibility for Medicaid;
  • Universal health care coverage (ARA would go on to support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare);
  • Directly taxing high-income earners to support health care reform;
  • Increasing or eliminating the Social Security wage limit, increasing benefits for single women, and establishing a minimum benefit level;
  • Opposition to privatization of Social Security or any increase in the minimum retirement age;
  • Opposition to extending the "regressive" tax cuts made in 2001 and 2003;
  • Support for the Employee Free Choice Act, and government employee collective bargaining in all states;
  • Legislation to encourage the creation of more defined-benefit pension programs by employers.

This lobby group, with its ambitious legislative agenda, was indirectly supported with money from Michiganders that was meant to go to the families and friends of persons with disabilities.


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