Taxpayers Pay SEIU $4 Million for Discredited Pseudo-Medicine Green Jobs


The universal life force of Reiki has not been shown to exist, but the power of unions to access taxpayer dollars is real. The Service Employment International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP) received a grant for $4,637,551 of taxpayer money through President Obama’s trillion-dollar American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[*] Some of H-Cap’s millions were spent on discredited “universal life force energy” medical treatments.

The stated purpose of this Obama grant was to “teach workers the skills required in emerging industries including energy efficiency and renewable energy.” [†] In 2012 the H-CAP website posted a report on emerging healthcare jobs in which they reported on the emerging jobs for nurses including holistic nurses using techniques such as Reiki. H-Cap cited this claim from, a dubious website with articles extolling the virtues of Reiki, Acupuncture, and other alternative medicines not based in science.[‡]

Reiki operates with a belief in a universal life force energy, which a Reiki Master can transfer into a patient by laying their hands upon them, thereby curing the patient of multiple different ailments. The problem with this practice is that there has been no scientific evidence to support its claims.[§]  It does not take much science to prove taxpayers wasted millions on this scheme.

SEIU is one of the largest labor unions in the United States. In 2016 SEIU generated over $1.1 billion in dues and fees and spent $100 million on political activities.[**] Forced-dues imposed on workers helped enable SEIU to obtain this or other taxpayer-funded grants and contracts. Forced dues and the political power that it creates, alters rational public expenditures and creates political paybacks disguised as public benefits.Money Received by SEIU in 2016

SEIU has received millions in taxpayer funds to fight global warming while promoting pseudoscience though H-CAP. If labor unions can continue to generate large sums of money through forced dues and use that money for political purposes, it is likely wasteful government spending will continue to funnel taxpayer dollars towards labor unions. If the universal life force of Reiki is real, unions should be using it to increase their funds instead of using taxpayer’s money.

[*] DOL Award Summaries

[†] DOL Award Summaries

[‡] Minority Nurse

[§] Medical Study on Effects of Reiki

[**] LM-2 form data, accessed through Department of Labor