Health Aides Want Union Hands Off

Washington Free Beacon | 6/23/2019 | Bill McMorris
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BY: Bill McMorris

Home health care providers are asking a federal judge in California to uphold a Trump administration regulation that would block unions from skimming money from Medicaid reimbursements.

May - Department - Health - Human - Services

In May, the Department of Health and Human Services's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services adopted a new regulation to prohibit states from taking money from caregiver reimbursements and giving it to third parties. The regulation took direct aim at several state policies that siphoned money from health aides, many of whom are caring for disabled relatives, and gave it to labor unions.

"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. "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."

Rule - Lawsuit - California - Connecticut - Massachusetts

The rule sparked a lawsuit from California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington. The states are now seeking to stop it from going into effect. Several caregivers in those states, however, are seeking to protect the rule and ensure that they receive their full reimbursements from Medicaid. The lawsuit pits the states' claims against the federal government, but the aides argue their own input is needed to ensure that their interests are represented in the case.

"Providers have financial and constitutional interests in stopping the unwanted diversion of monies from their Medicaid payments to subsidize union advocacy," the filing says. "No existing party represents the Movant Providers' interests with respect to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Washington Free Beacon
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