Biden Wants To Renew Union Skimming From Payments To Home-Health Providers

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The Biden Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), wants to reinstate an Obama-era regulation that allowed labor unions to skim an estimated $1 billion from Medicaid payments to home healthcare providers.

The proposal “will place a federal stamp of approval on abusive state and union practices to pressure, mislead, and ultimately lock home healthcare providers into assigning portions of their Medicaid payments to union special interest groups and associated funds,” the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF) said.

“Such assignments are generally irrevocable for a year or more, resulting in the diversion of Medicaid payments to third parties for political advocacy and other purposes over the express objections of home healthcare providers,” they continued.

The reinstatement of this policy would rescind a 2018 Trump administration rule that upheld the intent of Congress to deny third parties, including unions, access to Medicaid payments to providers of home-based healthcare for disabled and in-home eligible persons.

Despite a federal law that specifically prohibited assignment of payments to third parties, the Obama administration crafted a special exemption in 2014 that permitted them for labor unions. The only exceptions recognized by the law cover court orders for wage garnishments, child support orders, and judgments for debts owed to states.

Additionally, the US Supreme Court also ruled in 2014 that compulsory union payments violate the First Amendment rights of home healthcare workers who prefer not to support union activities.

Home healthcare providers in non-right to work states faced requirements that a portion of their payments be provided to fund union activities, the funds automatically deducted from Medicaid payments even though it was illegal to do so.

The skimming equaled an estimated $200 million annually, according to the State Policy Network. The NRTWLDF estimated that prior to the Trump nullification of the labor carve out by the Obama administration, union officials had siphoned upwards of $1 billion from Medicaid payments.

Why This Is Important

Anyone who has had the need for home healthcare services – or anyone who knows someone who is or has worked in the home healthcare industry – recognizes this policy reinstatement as a hard slap to the face of those who provide this critical service.

For those who are unfamiliar with home healthcare services, it is a healthcare service provided where a patient lives, almost exclusively by registered and licensed nursing professionals. Patients receive home healthcare services whether they live in their own homes, with or without family members, or in an assisted living facility, with the goal of promoting, maintaining, or restoring a patient’s health and also to reduce the effects of disease or disability.

Most often, those who provide these services spend long hours traveling from location to location – usually in the more poverty-stricken and, therefore, more dangerous areas – executing their duties as lone practitioners employed with large private-sector home healthcare companies. They are responsible for not only providing the service with great care but for documenting every interaction, all treatment data, the use of materials, and their travels.

The average annual salary for a home healthcare nurse runs $27,844. To contrast that, the US federal poverty level for a single individual is $12,880.

There are over 400,000 home healthcare providers in the United States.

According to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the chief recipient of this labor union graft would be the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

“Union officials, especially at the Service Employees International Union, have long used deceptive and even unconstitutional tactics to divert taxpayer-funded Medicaid payments into union coffers,” the NRTWLDF said in a statement.

To put this into perspective, in 2014 the SEIU took in $262,596,932 in membership dues alone. Their total revenue for that year came in at $280,911,171. In that same year, they spent $24,091,908 for political activities including contributions to political candidates, leadership Political Action Committees (PACs), 527 Groups, satellite spending to Super PACs, and organization parties.

The fact they the SEIU has exclusively promoted and supported the most radical ideologues of the Democrat Party in elections and championed the most Marxist initiatives before Congress and the State Houses consistently over the years mandates that any funds extracted involuntarily are an ipso facto donation to the Democrat Party.

This incredibly jaded and transparently political move to further line the pockets of labor unions by the Biden administration through the pillaging of Medicaid payments to home healthcare workers is outrageous.

Both the Obama and Biden administrations – along with the total of the congressional Democrats and their propagandistic hacks – routinely talk about how they care about the health of the American people. Specifically in their financial power-grabs of Obamacare and through the governmental contortions surrounding the suspect COVID event.

But the facts always point to the same truth. They couldn’t care less about your health or the health of your loved ones. All they care about is money and power. The fleecing of America’s home healthcare workers should prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

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Frank Salvato is the executive partner at The CompassPoint Group, LLC. He is the host of The Underground and RightMinded podcasts as heard on iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Podcasts, and anywhere podcasts are heard. He is a national political writer for National File. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His analysis has been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, and Accuracy in Media, and is nationally syndicated. Mr. Salvato appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is the author of six books examining internal and external threats facing our country. He can be heard twice weekly on “The Captain’s America: Third Watch” radio program syndicated nationally on the Salem Broadcasting Network and Genesis Communications affiliate stations.