President Trump has been busily cleaning up Barack Obama’s messes ever since he got in office. He’s creating jobs, cutting taxes, nixing regulations and, in general, giving more control back to American citizens instead of ceding it to the federal government. That’s what a president is elected to do.
In July, the Trump administration announced that it would end what it sees as an illegal Obama-era rule that allows unions to collect dues from state subsidies intended for home health workers, including family caregivers. It acted as a de facto slush fund and now President Trump is giving back millions of dollars that are owed to these workers instead of the unions.
Federal law is supposed to prohibit states from skimming money from Medicaid payments bound for independent in-home personal care workers. But thanks to the Obama administration, back in 2014, they created an exception, stating that states could divert some of that Medicaid money to unions. The flawed reasoning was that these workers effectively were public-sector employees. That’s quite a reach and in my viewpoint, not lawful or moral.
There are eleven liberal states out there that have utilized this provision to raise more than $200 million a year for unions by taking it from health workers who often didn’t even know they were doing it, according to top GOP officials. That’s called ‘theft’ in my book.
This would include states such as California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Illinois. Illinois is a blue state that has been at the center of recent Supreme Court rulings stripping power from organized labor. None of these states should surprise you in the least that they are doing this kind of thing.
Republicans have been quick to point out that the Obama administrative exception violates the federal Social Security Act. It also violates the rights of home health workers.
President Trump is attempting to rectify this. His decision means that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have already begun the formal process of proposing a new rule to roll back the Obama regulation.
“The law provides that Medicaid providers must be paid directly and cannot have part of their payments diverted to third parties outside of a few very specific exceptions,” Tim Hill, the acting director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, said in a formal statement.
“This proposed rule is intended to ensure that providers receive their complete payment, and any circumstances in which a state does divert part of a provider’s payment must be clearly allowed under the law.” And if I read this correctly, notification must be given as well.
Republicans have long sought to put an end to the Obama-era rule, which many see as unethical and illegal. Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, had urged the Trump administration to take action on the issue earlier this year.
PRESS RELEASE: Statement from Melody Benjamin, Home Care Worker, Regarding Trump Administration’s Proposed Rule to Silence Working People and the Supreme Court Ruling to Limit Their Power. https://t.co/vUKqtRTzxq
— SEIU (@SEIU) July 10, 2018
Johnson released a statement that proclaims in part that he would continue to monitor Medicaid funding himself. I believe him and thank goodness someone is doing this.
“Union dues skimming diverts Medicaid funds from the very people that the program is supposed to help,” Johnson (R-WI) said. “I applaud the Trump Administration for taking the first steps to rein in this abuse. My committee will continue to conduct oversight of CMS’s stewardship of Medicaid funds so that American taxpayers can have confidence the funds flow to those in need.”
In 2014, there was a Supreme Court Ruling that home health workers couldn’t constitutionally be required to pay union agency fees because they were not public-sector workers. It didn’t stop the illegal dues skimming that has plagued the system. Perhaps that will be rectified now.
This is just the latest bad news for the unions out there. In June, the Supreme Court swatted them again in Janus v. AFSCME, which held that nonunion public workers could not be forced to pay agency fees to public-sector unions, either.
From Fox News:
“It had long been illegal for unions to force non-members to pay for their explicitly political activity, but the Supreme Court’s ruling extended that prohibition to the payment of the agency fees, saying even those expenditures amounted to unconstitutionally coerced participation in the political activity of collective bargaining.
“In a statement, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) called the Trump administration’s move a “broad, coordinated attack against working people,” and said it would hurt minorities.
“The proposed CMS rule, combined with the Janus ruling, are two more efforts by the Trump Administration and billionaire-funded special interest groups to silence a workforce comprised of 90 percent women, most of whom are women of color, and to reduce the power of working people by making it more difficult for them to join together in a union to fight to ensure that our loved ones can get the care they need to live at home with dignity,” read a statement by Melody Benjamin, who SEIU said is a home care worker.”
President Trump has done many good things since he has been in office. But one of the best, in my opinion, is checking the power, graft, and corruption of the unions. SEIU can cry into their beer all they want, Trump is going to fix this.