PRESIDENT, SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION (SEIU)
Date of Birth: Nov. 22, 1950.
Education: B.A., University of Pennsylvania.
Career Path: Stern joined the SEIU in 1973 and worked his way up, becoming president in 1996.
Role in Health Care Reform, 1993-1994: None.
Why He's a Player Now: SEIU has made health reform a top issue in recent years. With two million members, the union can quickly organize in response to proposed legislation. The union generally aligns with Democrats, although its support is not guaranteed. SEIU supports the option of a public plan but opposes ending the tax exclusion for employee health benefits.
Quote: “If we are going to solve the economic insecurity crisis of working people living in fear in this country--of losing their jobs, of not being able to afford their health care or being just one illness away from financial ruin--the only cure is to fix health care.” (Congressional testimony, Nov. 19, 2008)
Read about the other 'Players'.