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BY: Bill McMorris
Labor organizations will no longer be allowed to skim dues money from the checks of Medicaid patients under new rules adopted by the Trump administration.
Department - Health - Human - Services - Center
The Department of Health and Human Services's Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services adopted a new regulation that will prohibit states from siphoning money from caregiver reimbursements to third parties. The rule takes direct aim at state policies enacted to enrich union coffers.
"State Medicaid programs are responsible for ensuring that taxpayer dollars are dedicated to providing healthcare services for low-income, vulnerable Americans and are not diverted in ways that do not comply with federal law," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a release. "This final rule is intended to ensure that providers receive their complete payment."
States - Dues - Schemes - Past - Union
Several states have used forced dues schemes in the past to automatically deduct union fees from the reimbursement checks intended to pay for the care of disabled citizens. In many cases that money has gone to family members who serve as full-time caregivers to their severely disabled relatives. The new rule will prevent states from enforcing those policies in the future.
"This final rule removes the regulatory text that allows a state to make Medicaid payments to third parties on behalf of an individual provider for benefits such as health insurance, skills training, and other benefits customary for employees," the regulation says.
Issue - Prominence - Supreme - Court - Dues
The issue gained national prominence when the Supreme Court struck down a coercive dues scheme adopted by imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in Illinois. The Court ruled in Harris v. Quinn that the state policy was unconstitutional because it treated home health aides as government employees for the purpose of paying labor giants Service Employees International Union and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, but otherwise received no other benefits or services from state government. The...
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