In Business This Week
THE UNIONS SHAKE ON A HEALTH PACKAGE
Member unions of the AFL-CIO have stopped bickering over their position on health care reform and reached a compromise. On Feb. 19, the 35-member Executive Council declared its support for either a system run and financed by the federal government or a plan based on employer-paid insurance, with the government covering the uninsured.
As an interim measure, the unions are free to endorse a plan on Capitol Hill that would require companies to provide health insurance or pay a tax into a government-run fund to cover uninsured workers. The unions also voted to let the federal government set payment rates for all doctors and hospitals. Plus they would drop the medicare eligibility age to 60 from 65.EDITED BY PETER FINCH