In anticipation of a crushing blow to public-quarter unions by the U.S. Supreme Court final summer, conservative corporations ramped up their efforts to bring the federal authorities’ attention to the difficulty of Medicaid-funded union dues, in step with an audio recording received by The Intercept and Documented. Earlier this month, the Trump management announced a new rule barring home fitness care employees from paying union dues through their Medicaid-funded wages. The new Department of Health and Human Services rule, which will affect greater than 800,000 people and turned into immediately met with a criminal venture, accompanied by years of making plans by way of anti-union activists to sell such measures in states throughout us of a, and, greater lately, on the federal level.
On an invitation-simplest call with donors remaining June, leaders with the State Policy Network — a company-sponsored umbrella group of proper-wing assume tanks throughout us of a — raised the difficulty of directly deducting union dues from Medicaid-funded paychecks, what they call “dues-skimming.” Vinnie Vernuccio, a exertions coverage adviser to the State Policy Network, informed donors that its plan was to give up this practice via getting “an administrative rule handed at Health and Human Services” and passing federal regulation with the assistance of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.
The law has now not but come — regardless of a promise from McMorris Rodgers introduced at the start of 2018 that she could introduce an invoice to this impact. The Department of Health and Human Services but announced much less than two months after the decision that it would do not forget amending its Obama-era rule, which is, in the long run, did this May. On the call, Vernuccio touted that the State Policy Network “is the only group that’s riding this attempt at a countrywide level.” A spokesperson for McMorris Rodgers did now not respond to requests for comment.
Others on the decision had been Rebecca Painter, the vice president of development for SPN; Tracie Sharp, the president and CEO; Todd Davidson, the senior director of strategic improvement for the network; and Jennifer Butler, an SPN senior policy adviser.
None of the five name leaders returned The Intercept’s requests for remark. Instead, SPN spokesperson Carrie Conko reached out and said she might cope with any inquiries. She wrote in an email that her coalition plans to hold preventing in Washington “on behalf of folks who would as a substitute now not see their difficult-earned cash siphoned from their paychecks and into massive union’s political and lobbying sports.”
The 45-minute call befell two weeks before the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, which struck down public-quarter unions’ capability to price costs to nonmembers who benefit from collective bargaining. SPN leaders voiced optimism that the case could carry their tremendous results.
“I need you to understand that later this month, or any day now, the probabilities are exact that we may honestly have this exceptional possibility with the Janus Supreme Court case choice,” Sharp informed her donors. “If it comes down on our aspect of direction, it makes every country a ‘right-to-work country. And so we have the opportunity to change the way the left funds the entirety that you and I disagree with.” At a distinct factor on the decision, she said, “Once this ruling comes down — and we do assume it to return down in our prefer — the entirety will exchange. The door to pass a dream list of loose-marketplace reforms goes to swing open for us.
” Vernuccio agreed. “Once the authorities union barrier is eliminated, everything else that topics to all people in this name a lot is that tons nearer within reach,” he said. With a Janus victory insight, an emboldened State Policy Network appeared in advance to next steps, particularly taking the dues-skim combat from the states to Washington, D.C. SPN ought to “devolve energy back to the states, groups, and most significantly, back to people,” Butler explained to the donors. “By harnessing all our expertise and all of the sources at the federal level, we will prevent this national,” Vernuccio delivered. “So not anything absolutely illustrates the electricity of SPN and the community better than what[‘s] gonna quickly be a victory at the dues-skim.”