Look for the Union Label? - KTRH & KPRC Houston

Health Care workers organizing and unionizing in more spots.

Source: KTRH & KPRC Houston 

Brownsville, Corpus Christi, El Paso, McAllen. Four cities in Texas where the National Nurses Organizing Committee has won recent ballots on unionizing. There's no doubt in the minds of some of the impact such moves will have on your quality of care-starting with higher costs.

"In addition, having a unionized work force makes it harder to streamline your work process-allowing you to become more efficient-in the event you need to make changes" said Devin Herrick, a Health economist and Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. He said the evidence can already be seen in a number of places where health care workers have already unionized.

"To the extent that unions began to really extract or extort greater wages-what they're really trying to do is get those from other sectors of the economy-from people who have jobs and have health insurance through their jobs and through premiums and higher premiums and so forth" Herrick said.

When it comes to health care reform, Herrick said the unionization effort could leave a mark-especially when it comes to cost control.

"The one bargaining chip unions would have would be the threat the entire work force could walk out on a hospital-and that would hurt patients" Herrick said.

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