Elizabeth Warren’s labor proposal would reinstate pilfering from home health care workers

Despite her pitch to “empower” and “protect” American workers, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s labor reform proposal would actually work against home health care workers in favor of big union.

The proposal calls for a reversal of a Trump administration rule change that overturned an Obama-era policy allowing government unions to skim Medicaid payments and divert the monies away from their intended purpose—paying for home care for the disabled to help keep them out of institutions.

Warren called the Trump rule change “cynical,” and claimed it is an attempt by the administration to “preven[t] home care workers that work with Medicaid beneficiaries from using paycheck deductions for health insurance contributions and union dues.”

The new rule doesn’t prevent home care providers from making payments to union programs if they want, it simply “stops states from making the deductions automatically,” according to Sean Higgins in the Washington Examiner. Warren’s plan would undue this victory, diverting taxpayer funds back into the hands of unions to subsidize their political activities.

Warren’s proposal further states that she will work to “guarante[e] that all home care workers can join a union or other worker organization.” She should also work to guarantee, then, that these providers have a meaningful opportunity to decide who represents them.

In Minnesota, home care workers known as personal care attendants (PCAs) were unionized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) under the leadership of former Governor Mark Dayton so they could be declared “public employees” and assessed union dues. The union was established through a mail-in ballot, but low voter turnout and instances of forged signatures and other alleged election fraud left the majority of PCAs unaware there was an election for union representation or that dues were being deducted from their paychecks. The Center has worked with MNPCA.org and attorney Doug Seaton to gather over 10,000 cards (compared to the supposed 3,000 or so cards that voted for union representation) from PCAs across Minnesota calling for union decertification and a new election. Until decertification happens, the union continues to speak on behalf of all PCAs at both the state Capitol and in Washington, D.C.

While there is still work to be done to ensure these providers have a true voice and choice regarding union representation, the Trump administration’s end to Medicaid dues-skim is a win. Warren’s proposal to reverse this rule change would profit unions at the expense of the disabled and the families who care for them.