EAI Supports Federal Rule Ending “Dues Skimming”

July 19, 2018

by EAI Staff

On July 10, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to protect the integrity of the Medicaid program by ensuring states are no longer able to take union dues from the support checks of in-home caregivers who look after our country’s most vulnerable. If the rule is enacted, people who stay at home to care for elderly, sick, and disabled loved ones will be able to keep the entirety of their Medicaid support checks; states will no longer be able to siphon money away and give it to government unions.

Each year, in-home caregivers lose an estimated $200 million from their support checks, and this proposed rule is a way to stop this unfair and deceptive scheme once and for all.

HHS said it will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on Thursday, July 12, marking the start of a 30-day-long period during which the public may comment on what the rule would mean for them. Impacted caregivers are especially encouraged to provide comment on the personal impact of the rule to them and their families and patients.

The public comment period is now open. Comment on the proposed rule to end the Dues Skim here. All comments are due no later than 5 p.m. EST on August 13, 2018.

The Ethan Allen Institute’s comment is as follows:

“The Ethan Allen Institute welcomes the proposed rule. In Vermont, the legislature (Act 48 of 2013) authorized a “pseudo union” of home health care workers, many of them Medicaid-financed. The Act authorized mandatory bargaining over deduction of union dues and agency fees from Medicaid payments to these providers, often family members. This is a “pseudo union” because the union pocketing the money is not bargaining with an employer of home health care providers, but with the compliant state legislature, to increase Medicaid reimbursements and deduct dues and agency fees.

“The current (July 1, 2018) State contract with “Vermont Homecare United” (AFSCME) requires the state to deduct “voluntary” contributions from union members to the union’s Political Action Funds (PACs), as well as union dues.

“We believe that if a union wants to enroll members, it should be free to do so – but it should not be entitled to enlist the State as the dues collection agent (other than for actual unionized state employees). It should absolutely not be given funds from the Federal-State Medicaid payment stream for union dues, “collective bargaining service fees”, or political action contributions. Medicaid is obliged to compensate qualified providers, but it should be the union’s task to persuade providers to affirmatively join and pay to the union the required dues and “voluntary” political contributions.  (Cf. Janus vs. AFSCME, 2018)”

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanne V July 23, 2018 at 6:55 pm

Absolutely!! Dues should only come from those who actually join a union. Union dues swindled from Medicaid checks? Youch! That has to stop. I had no idea that was happening. Who gave the right to take out union dues from Medicaid payments? I don’t believe unions are what they used to be years ago, when they really helped bad work conditions. Today, union presidents are living like kings, probably because of all the dues taken from people who are not members. Guess they’ll have to start taking a pay cut and live within their means like the rest of us.

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William Hays July 25, 2018 at 3:17 pm

Never happen, with Bernie, and his “Fellow Traveler Socialists”, enjoying even a small tad of power. “It worked in Brooklyn! Yeah…Sure…”. Super loons!

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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
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