CMS rule could add hurdle for home health aides in unions: 6 things to know

Federal officials have proposed a rule that would prohibit the automatic deduction of union dues for home health aides who receive paychecks from Medicaid, reports NPR.

Six things to know:

1. Home health aides provide personal care services, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, and transportation, to elderly and disabled people.

2. Currently, home health aides receive direct Medicaid payments, and their union dues are automatically withdrawn from their paychecks, according to the report. The Trump administration's proposed rule would prohibit the deduction of union dues.

3. The proposed rule affects individual Medicaid home health aides who are technically employed by the state, rather than a dominant private, for-profit agency.

4. The Service Employees International Union, which represents hundreds of thousands of home care workers, has come out against the proposed rule. In a prepared statement, the union called it a "transparent political attempt to interfere with home care workers' freedom to stand together in their union and advocate for higher wages, skilled training and basic benefits." California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Controller Betty Yee also oppose the proposed rule.

5. Tim Hill, acting director for CMS' Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, argued that states "cannot have part of their [Medicaid] payments diverted to third parties, outside of a few very specific exceptions," under federal law, reports NPR. According to the report, supporters of the proposed rule also contend the proposal would prevent powerful unions from using taxpayer dollars for financial gain.

6. CMS accepted public comments on the proposed rule through Aug. 13. If finalized, it could take effect by the end of 2018.

Access the full NPR report here.

 

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