Long-term services and supports for the elderly and younger populations with disabilities are a significant component of annual healthcare spending in the U.S. According to the most recent figures available, spending for these services nationally amounted to around $158 billion as recently as 2015, almost two-thirds of which was paid through state Medicaid programs.
Much of this money is used to compensate home-based healthcare providers – in most cases a friend or family member looking after their loved one. For the taxpayers, it’s a sensible investment because it keeps the patient at home rather than a more expensive institution. And for the patient and their caregiver, it’s often a godsend that preserves dignity and self-sufficiency.
For an assortment of government employee unions, however, the money represents a huge windfall from which they expect to wet their beaks.
California, not surprisingly, is the poster child for this dues-skimming epidemic.
Through Medicaid, the federal government allocates billions of dollars to care for low-income elderly and disabled Americans, and those providing care – usually a family member or loved one – often make enormous personal sacrifices to do so.
They deserve every dollar that’s coming to them, not what’s left after SEIU or some other labor union takes its cut off the top and uses it to pay off politicians who make the whole scheme legal.
Read more about dues-skimming in general and the scope of the problem in California in this op-ed co-authored this week by the Freedom Foundation and the California Policy Center in the Orange County Register.