Union Dues Blues

If you had any doubts that labor unions have gone far beyond their original brief, try this:

If you’re a parent who accepts Medicaid payments from the State of Michigan to help support your mentally-disabled adult children,  you qualify as a state employee for the purposes of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). They can now claim and receive a portion of your Medicaid in the form of union dues.

Robert and Patricia Haynes live in Michigan with their two adult children, who have cerebral palsy. The state government provides the family with insurance through Medicaid, but also treats them as caregivers. For the SEIU, this makes them public employees and thus members of the union, which receives $30 out of the family’s monthly Medicaid subsidy. The Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3) deducts union dues on behalf of SEIU.

The article goes on to say that this works out to $6 million per year. When we are talking of billions and trillions, this does not seem like much. But when you understand that this is, for all practical purposes, a tax which is applied to individuals who receive precisely no benefit from the taxation, then things don’t seem so benign.

A measure to undo this mess is currently stuck in Michigan’s state senate. Here’s hoping that it becomes unstuck very soon.