by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Biden administration may soon allow unions to take Medicaid funds from caregivers—a practice the Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional.
Family members and professional caregivers can qualify for Medicaid reimbursements for the cost of care they provide to disabled relatives, but some states have siphoned those payments into union coffers. The Trump administration banned such pro-union schemes in accordance with a 2014 Supreme Court ruling, but the Biden White House is looking to revoke federal prohibitions against third-party payments.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit temporarily closed the docket until February 1 as the Biden administration proposes new rules.
The Biden proposal could prove a major boon for the president’s allies in organized labor. Unions in 2017 alone took in an estimated $147 million in dues from at-home caregivers, according to data collected by the labor watchdog National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. William Messenger, a staff attorney for the foundation, said the Biden administration would reimplement the scheme, which helps fund Democratic Party campaigns and causes to enforce pro-union policies.
“What you’re seeing is a misuse of Medicaid funds being steered away from paying for care to disabled people and being used for politics,” Messenger told the Washington Free Beacon. “They set up an entire system to pressure Medicaid providers to assign a portion of their Medicaid funds over to unions and political action committees.” …
… Labor unions spent more than $240 million on politics during the 2020 election cycle, the vast majority of which benefited Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Biden regularly boasts that he is the most pro-union president in history. Maxford Nelsen, the director of labor policy at the Freedom Foundation, said overturning the Trump rule would unnecessarily divert money from the disabled to the politically connected.