Conservatives Pushed a Strategy to Weaken Home Health Care Unions. The Trump Administration Bit.

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Earlier this month, the Trump administration introduced a new rule barring home health care workers from paying union dues thru their Medicaid-funded wages. The new Department of Health and Human Services rule, so one can effect more than 800,000 people and become straight away met with a legal task, followed years of making plans with the aid of anti-union activists to sell such measures in states throughout the us of a, and, extra lately, on the federal stage.

In anticipation of a crushing blow to public-area unions with the aid of the U.S. Supreme Court ultimate summer time, conservative companies ramped up their efforts to bring the federal authorities’ interest to the problem of Medicaid-funded union dues, in step with an audio recording received using The Intercept and Documented.

On an invite-only call with donors final June, leaders with the State Policy Network — a corporate-backed umbrella group of right-wing think tanks across the u. S. A . — raised the issue of immediately deducting union dues from Medicaid-funded paychecks, what they call “dues-skimming.” Vinnie Vernuccio, a exertions coverage adviser to the State Policy Network, told donors that its plan becomes to cease this exercise with the aid of getting “an administrative rule passed at Health and Human Services” and passing federal rules with the assistance of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.

The legislation has now not but come — regardless of a promise from McMorris Rodgers announced at the begin of 2018 that she might introduce a bill to this effect. The Department of Health and Human Services, however, introduced less than months after the decision that it might do not forget amending its Obama-era rule, which it, in the long run, did this May. On the decision, Vernuccio touted that the State Policy Network “is the handiest organization that’s using this attempt at a national degree.” A spokesperson for McMorris Rodgers did not reply to requests for comment.

Others on the decision had been Rebecca Painter, the vice president of development for SPN; Tracie Sharp, the president and CEO; Todd Davidson, the senior director of strategic development for the network; and Jennifer Butler, an SPN senior policy adviser. None of the five call leaders backs The Intercept’s requests for remark. Instead, SPN spokesperson Carrie Conko reached out and said she could address any inquiries. She wrote in an email that her coalition plans to keep preventing in Washington “on behalf of folks that might as a substitute not see their tough earned money siphoned from their paychecks and into big union’s political and lobbying activities.”

The forty-five-minute calls passed off weeks earlier than the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, which struck down public-zone unions’ ability to price fees to nonmembers who benefit from collective bargaining. SPN leaders voiced optimism that the case would convey them advantageous effects.

“Once the government union barrier is eliminated, everything else that matters to all and sundry in this call so much is that plenty closer inside attain.”

“I want you to recognize that later this month, or any day now, the chances are correct that we may also honestly have this unprecedented possibility with the Janus Supreme Court case decision,” Sharp advised her donors. “If it comes down on our aspect, of course, it makes each nation a ‘proper-to-paintings’ state. And so we’ve got the possibility to trade the way the left finances everything that you and I disagree with.” At an extraordinary factor on the decision, she stated, “Once this ruling comes down — and we do assume it to come back down in our favour — everything will exchange. The door to pass a dream list of unfastened-market reforms is going to swing open for us.” Vernuccio agreed. “Once the authorities union barrier is removed, everything else that matters to anybody on this name so much is that plenty nearer within attain,” he said.

With a Janus victory in sight, an emboldened State Policy Network seemed beforehand to subsequent steps, mainly taking the dues-skim combat from the states to Washington, D.C. SPN could “devolve power returned to the states, communities, and most significantly, again to people,” Butler explained to the donors. “By harnessing all our know-how and all of the assets at the federal level, we can forestall this national,” Vernuccio delivered. “So not anything sincerely illustrates the electricity of SPN and the network better than what[‘s] gonna soon be a victory on the dues-skim.”

The State Policy Network’s first win at the dues-skim came in early 2013, simply as Michigan became a “right-to-paintings” nation. The SPN company in Michigan, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, satisfied kingdom lawmakers and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to take away the potential of toddler care companies and home fitness care employees to deduct union dues from their paychecks.