Labor Watch

CRC Adds Its Voice to New Rule Ending the Dues Skim

New Rule Will Maintain Integrity of the Social Safety Net


Washington, DC (August 9, 2018)—Today the Capital Research Center submitted comments in support of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed rule to remove loopholes that allow labor unions to siphon funds off of assistance checks meant to assist in-home healthcare workers.

In comments submitted to CMS, the Capital Research Center supported the freedom of home healthcare providers to choose not to pay fees to labor unions:

The practice of dues skimming by labor unions unfairly burdens home caregivers who are deprived of an estimated $150 million in Medicaid funds intended to pay for their service to disabled Americans. When the federal government permits this diversion of funds, it hinders access to affordable and effective healthcare and benefits wealthy special interests. This dues skimming abuses Medicaid at the expense of the vulnerable individuals who rely on it, and it was never intended under the law according to the Supreme Court, which found in Harris v. Quinn (2014) that “the First Amendment prohibits the collection of an agency fee from Rehabilitation Program PAs (personal assistant) who do not want to join or support the union.”

. . . [Union-friendly] interests use these funds to advance their own interests—often at the expense of these home caregivers. When the Freedom Foundation, a Washington state think tank, attempted to inform over 50,000 workers that they could opt out of paying approximately $25 million in dues each year to the Service Employees International Union’s state affiliate, that union slapped the Freedom Foundation with three lawsuits in hopes of shutting the nonprofit down for daring to inform workers of their right not to have their Medicaid payments taken from them.

The highest court in the land ruled in 2014 that healthcare workers (in reality, family and friends who assist chronically ill loved ones) are not state employees and cannot be compelled to join a union or pay agency fees.

However, the unions have resisted complying with the ruling and union-friendly states have enabled the unions to continue skimming dues off of government assistance checks meant for the vulnerable. Cozy relationships between unions and politicians in certain states mean that it is unnecessarily difficult for these individuals to opt-out of union membership.

Capital Research Center president Scott Walter said: “By closing loopholes and ensuring Medicare and Medicaid funds reach their intended recipients the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will maintain the integrity of our nation’s social safety net and ensure that taxpayer funds are spent responsibly.”

To find out more about how labor unions use their influence to further their political agenda, read CRC’s LaborWatch.

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The Capital Research Center is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. As America’s investigative think tank, CRC connects the dots between the philanthropic sector and the organizations that influence public policy. We receive no government funding and rely entirely on the support of private donors.

To schedule a phone call or broadcast interview with Scott Walter, please email Christine Ravold, [email protected]

Christine Ravold

Christine is the Capital Research Center’s Communications Officer. She writes, edits, and serves as a press contact. She is a graduate of Rosemont College in Pennsylvania.
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