Buried on page 1373 of Speaker Pelosi's 1990-page health care bill (pdf) is a provision that amounts to a present for another reliable Democratic constituency, nurses' unions. The section authorizes the Secretary of Labor to establish a grant program to provide nursing education. To qualify for the grant, an entity must be either "jointly administrered by a health care employer and a labor union," or by "one or more organizations which represent the interests of direct care health care workers or staff nurses and in which the direct health care workers or staff nurses have direct input as to the leadership of the organization." On top of that, any school of nursing or employer that qualifies must be one that "provides wages and benefits to its nurses that are competitive for its market or that have been collectively bargained with a labor organization." The whole notion of requiring competitive wages and benefits is redundant, anyway, because if the wages are not competitive, the employer would not succeed in attracting any employees. What's really going on here is that the nurses' unions -- just like all the other interest groups, from drug companies to trial lawyers to doctors -- are getting their piece of the action, for which the rest of America is going to be stuck with the bill.
Pelosi's Present to the Nurses' Unions