You are here

Protect Home Healthcare Providers: End Dues Skimming

Our friends at the State Policy Network have produced a compelling new video about the plight of men and women who have been forced to pay union dues as state healthcare workers when they’re simply caring for their own sick relatives and friends.

SPN provides a succint description of the problem:

State governments take an estimated $250 million intended to help the country’s most vulnerable and divert the money to unions.

In 13 states, caregivers —most of whom are taking care of sick friends and relatives, or friends, families, or neighbors taking care of disadvantaged children—have been classified as public employees, enabling unions to skim off dues from government support checks before the assistance ever reaches the patient, child, or their caregiver.

In 11 states, the government allows unions like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to automatically withdraw union dues from home healthcare providers’ Medicaid funds, costing Medicaid patients and their caregivers an estimated $200 million each year.

Home healthcare providers deserve freedom of choice so they can focus on providing care to their patients and using their funds for the patient’s needs, not unfair union dues.

Because of all this, the Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a new rule that would end the practice, as described by the Washington Examniner’s Sean Higgins:

The Trump administration announced [in July] that it would change Medicaid's rules to prevent unions from automatically getting a cut of the checks sent to state-subsidized home healthcare workers.

Under the proposed new rules announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, states would be prohibited from diverting any funds away from the workers to a third party, such as unions.

[...]

Medicaid-funded homecare subsidy programs are common in states and pay people to take care of invalids, in many cases family members. Public-sector unions have sought to represent these workers, and in at least 14 states since 2003 they were able to find friendly governors or state legislatures to pass legislation or sign executive orders declaring the workers state employees. This allowed the state, as the workers' employer, to enter into contracts with unions to represent the workers, which in turn entitled the unions to a portion of the subsidy checks.

For more information see SPN’s landing page on dues skimming and their FAQ list. Submit your own comment on the proposed rule here.