Editorial: Real threat to dialysis patients comes from an unexpected place San Diego Union Tribune August 11, 2017 The Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers has a taste for political hardball. In recent years, it’s pushed for California ballot measures that would limit hospital executives’ pay and cap hospital charges to try to create leverage to force health-care providers to increase SEIU-UHW-represented workers on their payrolls. In 2014, The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board likened these tactics to “blackmail.” Now the SEIU-UHW is at it again. On Wednesday, it took the first step toward signature-gathering for two initiatives it says it wants to appear on the November 2018 ballot. The measures would dictate staffing and billing policies at dialysis centers in California, which help more than 60,000 state residents with failing kidneys by removing excess waste and salt from their blood. The proposals are similar to those contained in two bills that SEIU-UHW is backing before the Legislature. The spin from the SEIU-UHW is that the union is crusading for a healthier California, not trying yet again to get leverage over health-care employers. But the claim that clinic staffers “want these reforms regardless of what happens with their union efforts” rings hollow.