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Kris Greene goes to Washington to Defend Medicaid Against Union Dues-Skimming: Crockett in NRO

Kris Greene is my favorite mama bear in Minnesota.

I have been writing about her and other home-based care providers for years. Kris, whose daughter Meredie has a rare genetic condition, has been a leader in the fight against the Dayton administration’s misuse of a Medicaid program for the disabled, a program for which thousands of Minnesota families, are very grateful.

I wrote about Kris and this scandal in National Review (NRO) today (Medicaid Dollars Should Go to Those Who Need Them, Not Big Labor).

The State Policy Network, a coalition of state-based think tanks (including my employer), estimates that the SEIU and AFSCME are skimming about $200 million a year from Medicaid funds, and another $50 million a year from child-care subsidies offered through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The bulk of that cash is spent helping politicians like Dayton, not providers….

Kris Greene says the SEIU has done nothing for her family but cause heartache and worry. Before unionization, Kris got regular wage increases and all the training she needed from the state. Now the SEIU, which “bargains” with the Dayton administration, has taken over the training, and instead of a wage increase, Kris gets a few days of PTO and holiday pay, absurd benefits when you are caring for a family member at home.

Kris and I were in the nation’s Capital last week to meet Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5 Washington) and various Congressional staff to talk about how Medicaid is being used in Minnesota and ten other states to fund politics rather than its intended use: helping the disabled and their families and caregivers.

The states that have this scheme are Minnesota, Illinois, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Guess what they all had in common when the unionization took place? They had hard-left governors, and legislators, that got, and still get, a lot of money from the unions involved–and the government collects the dues for the unions.

Here is what I wrote in NRO:

Luckily for her(Kris), help may be coming from Washington, D.C. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.) has stepped in to protect these providers and Medicaid. The issue is personal for McMorris Rodgers. Her son, Cole, was born in 2007 with Down syndrome, and she has been a champion for the disabled in Congress. She is drafting legislation that would prohibit using Medicaid funds to pay union dues. If the legislation becomes law, unions would still represent providers in states such as Minnesota (unless they are decertified), but they would have to collect their own dues, dealing the entire scheme a huge blow.

That would be a victory not just for people such as Kris and Pam, but for everyone with an interest in seeing welfare dollars directed to those in need — and not into the coffers of union behemoths and their Democratic allies.

We are grateful to Kris that she could arrange time away from her daughter Meredie. We debated whether to take Meredie on the trip but decided it might be too much, and we were right!

Joe Weber from Fox News covered our visit; it was fun to meet a reporter in the Capitol cafeteria (lots of good food and a ton of desserts).

Kris and I indulged by splitting a HUGE apple fritter. Believe me, we walked it off. We wish all our PCAs from Minnesota could have been there. We will keep you posted on the legislation as it progresses. And also the  union decertification led by Kris and other PCAs with help from attorney Doug Seaton in Minnesota. We need both to succeed.

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