Biden Administration Planning To Allow Unions To Receive Medicaid Funds Intended For Caregivers

Joe Biden has already shown that he is not willing to let Supreme Court rulings stand in the way of pressing the Democrat agenda forward. When he extended the unconstitutional eviction moratorium, the court had already expressly said he did not have that power. Now, the administration may permit labor unions to take federal Medicaid funding from caregivers, which has already been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Under existing Medicaid law, family and professional caregivers can qualify for Medicaid reimbursements for at-home care of disabled persons. Some states in the past tapped those funds for payments to unions. The Trump administration terminated the practice in compliance with a 2014 ruling from the Supreme Court. The Biden administration is now considering revoking the prohibition of payments to unions by President Trump.

The White House proposal would restore a significant revenue source for unions drawn from taxpayer funds. In 2017, around $147 million in union dues were funneled away from in-home caregivers. During the 2020 election season, labor unions contributed more than $240 million to political causes, and the great majority was given to Democrat politicians and causes. 

William Messenger with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation said that going back to the earlier rules would amount to a misuse of federal Medicaid funds for “politics” as money is “steered away from paying for care to disabled people.” Messenger added that Democrats have set up a system to pressure providers to transfer Medicaid funding to unions and political action committees.

Maxford Nelson, director of labor policy with the Freedom Foundations, said that there “is simply no provision in federal law” for taking part of Medicaid payments to at-home caregivers from recipients for payments to labor unions.

The rule for diverting such payments to unions was established in 2014 during the Obama administration. The Supreme Court ruled later in 2014 in Harris v. Quinn that the First Amendment prohibits taking union fees from home health care providers who do not wish to make such payments voluntarily.

Nelson said that the Biden administration’s proposal to reinstate the rules allowing the union payments is “a symbol of the direction this administration wants to go” and prioritizes the interest of labor unions over the disabled and caregivers who rely on Medicaid funding.