SEIU picking pockets of families of disabled in Michigan

posted at 3:05 pm on November 11, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Everyone knows that the unions have lost ground over the last few decades in the private sector, but maintain a grip on the public sector, where they exercise a great deal of control of public policy.  They hope to use that to expand their ranks, usually through expansion of government on all levels.  When that fails, though, they’re willing to just change the definition of “employee” in order to expand their collection of dues.  The Washington Examiner reveals today just how far they will go to grab money — in this case, from the families of the disabled on Medicaid:

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.

Michigan Department of Community Health Director Olga Dazzo explained the process in to her members of her staff.  “MQC3 basically runs the program for SEIU and passes the union dues from the state to the union,” she wrote in an emailobtained by the Mackinac Center. Initiated in 2006 under then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., the plan reportedly provides the SEIU with $6 million annually in union dues deducted from those Medicaid subsidies.

And here I thought the push to force Minnesota babysitters to unionize was the most ridiculous Big Labor story this year.  This is just ghoulish.  The SEIU is preying on families who already don’t have excess resources to deal with the health-related issues of their family.

It’s important to remember that Medicaid is a safety-net program specifically for the poor.  This is basically a tax on the poverty-stricken in Michigan to support the unions and add to their political influence.  The union provides these families with no assistance, no benefits, and no real representation of any kind — but Michigan deducts that $30 every month regardless, without their consent, and without a single organizing election.

Speaking of babysitters, it turns out that the previous Democratic administration did the same thing in Michigan that Democrats and unions want to do in Minnesota.  Fortunately, the new Republican administration took the hand of Big Labor out of day-care workers:

Gov. Rick Snyder, R-Mich., already ended a similar scheme to provide unions with new “public employees” in the area of child care. His predecessor, Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., had classified in-home daycare providers as public employees — a designation that forced them to pay union dues but conferred no other benefits upon them. Snyder’s director of the Department of Human Services ended that program. “[We] will stop all funding and, because these providers are not state employees, will also cease collecting union dues,” DHS director Maura Corrigan said at the time.

Michigan’s state Senate has thus far refused to act on a House bill to end the union theft from Medicaid recipients.  One has to wonder why Democrats in Michigan, and their public-employee union allies, hate the poor.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

This is beyond disgusting, and while I’m at it, I’ll down-twinkle the Boston Occupoopers for using soup kitchens meant for the homeless. What a bunch of lowlife hypocrites the left is.

juliesa on November 11, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Rush was talking about this a few minutes ago. Good gosh, this is so beyond belief, my mind can not get around it! How in the world can the families deal with this and get justice? These worms, seiu, have NO right to this, period! Citizens in these states where this is happening, please for the love of God, get someone to run and un-do this!
L

letget on November 11, 2011 at 3:12 PM

This is depraved. Utterly depraved.

Sekhmet on November 11, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Bbbbbut if we don’t allow the theft of $30 from Meeciaid recipients there will be no cops and no firefighters and no more schools.

angryed on November 11, 2011 at 3:14 PM

Judge them by their deeds…

Seven Percent Solution on November 11, 2011 at 3:15 PM

I find that fact that democrats forced this on people more sickening then the union who wanted it.

The democrats are utterly owned by unions and other special interests.

darwin on November 11, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Didn’t California just do the same thing?

cthulhu on November 11, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Ghoulish is putting it mildly. This is straight up government-sponsored and sanctioned THEFT so that Democrats can keep the campaign cash flowing.

Mord on November 11, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Again, people, Barack Obama supports and endorses this.

The Barack Obama Party is the one who is pushing this, who put it in place, and is now fighting its removal.

Michigan’s governor needs to point out that the SEIU and its Obama Party puppets created this mess. The Obama Party can either repudiate it and the SEIU or they can fry with it.

northdallasthirty on November 11, 2011 at 3:19 PM

NO. No complaints, no wailing of disgustedness (is that a word?).

This is Michigan. The elected officials did this to the people who put them, and keep them, in office.

They get what they voted for.

No sorrow or sympathy from me.

But just one question: No one in the MI legislature thought this was a bad enough idea to make it public before now? Even the moderate or conservatives?

BobMbx on November 11, 2011 at 3:19 PM

And statistically, only 10% of union members nationwide voted to join a union.

As we all know, it’s just a Dem campaign money laundering scheme.

juliesa on November 11, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Monsters.

jawkneemusic on November 11, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Hey Pablo Honey… hey ernesto… someone, please tell us why this is right and good.

This is parasitism, vampirism… words fail.

Akzed on November 11, 2011 at 3:21 PM

the plan reportedly provides the SEIU with $6 million annually in union dues deducted from those Medicaid subsidies.

Six million dollars every year, just from this one scam in this one state.

Un-friggin’-believeable.

AZCoyote on November 11, 2011 at 3:22 PM

SEIU, robber barron of the 21st century.

sadatoni on November 11, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Look for the union label,

darwin-t on November 11, 2011 at 3:24 PM

organized crime.

forest on November 11, 2011 at 3:24 PM

BTW, have y’all noticed how many ‘purple’ ties bho wears? Gotta keep his unions(seiu) happy sporting their color?
L

letget on November 11, 2011 at 3:24 PM

It’s important to remember that Medicaid is a safety-net program specifically for the poor. This is basically a tax on the poverty-stricken in Michigan to support the unions and add to their political influence.

Most of the people I know in Michigan are just numb to this kind of thing. They’re like the beaten down masses of the old Soviet Union trying to scratch out a little something for themselves. They just don’t make the connection between their own behavior and what the government (and unions) are doing to them.

Usually they just shrug and walk away. If they say anything at all it’s always about ‘those people’ on welfare, the cheats and drug addicts. Then in the next moment they are trying to ‘qualify’ for some government program, if they’re not on unemployment already, trying to get a few bucks from Obama.

Skandia Recluse on November 11, 2011 at 3:26 PM

organized crime.

forest on November 11, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Pretty much

darwin on November 11, 2011 at 3:27 PM

The “New American Dream” – stealing money from cerebral palsy patients.

forest on November 11, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Michigan’s state Senate has thus far refused to act on a House bill to end the union theft from Medicaid recipients.

Maybe it’s time for those “union workers” to band together and de-certify.

GarandFan on November 11, 2011 at 3:30 PM

organized crime.

forest on November 11, 2011 at 3:24 PM

And then some. : (

How is this not a provocation to civil war?

listens2glenn on November 11, 2011 at 3:31 PM

What? It’s not like those mentally disabled people were going to do a very good job bribing the politicians that need bribing. And what’s more “progressive”? Helping the needy or preserving one’s political clout?

Bruce MacMahon on November 11, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Sounds like a clear diversion of funds from a Federal program — spelled RICO.

littleguy on November 11, 2011 at 3:36 PM

BTW, have y’all noticed how many ‘purple’ ties bho wears? Gotta keep his unions(seiu) happy sporting their color?
letget on November 11, 2011 at 3:24 PM

And Blechel and his SEIU suspenders on The Five. Wink wink to Bertha Lewis.

Western_Civ on November 11, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Maybe one J-Schooler can rise above the mass retardation that is the journalism profession and ask actual Michigan residents, “why did you vote for this?”

This wouldn’t be law, if actual Michigan residents didn’t think this was a keen idea.

MNHawk on November 11, 2011 at 3:39 PM

I know some of these families. They could certainly use that 30.00 a month. For food, or diapers or wheelchairs.
Several years ago, Medicaid in MI was broke (it probably still is but I’m not there) and would not approve any wheelchairs or other DME no matter the need because there was just plain no money.
6 million to the SEIU is sick. Really sick.
There is another scam in MI, imo, where special education services provided by the school districts are billed to Medicaid. So, here again Medicaid is being used to fund the schools, aka the teachers’ union.
But if you need diapers or a wheelchair, sorry.

ORconservative on November 11, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Automatic, involuntary, union membership and then automatic dues withdrawal from paychecks. What could be sweeter?

You can get more money with a smile and a gun than just a smile.

a capella on November 11, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Now that the parents are official state union trash, can they now retire at 50, with 90% pay and full health care?

MNHawk on November 11, 2011 at 3:42 PM

I wonder…. maybe I should go to this state and see if any of these medicare recipients would be interested in a class action lawsuit against the State and the SEIU.

Wonder how we could find out if this goes on in other states? Seems like a pretty good lawsuit to me!

Vanceone on November 11, 2011 at 3:47 PM

I saw this yesterday. I’m not sure what is more disgusting, the fact that the skimmed funds are going to democrat election campaign funds, or that nobody else will cover it.

Vashta.Nerada on November 11, 2011 at 3:55 PM

You want to hear something really horrible as to what unions are up to?

They have actually unionized “teachers assistants” or, rather, graduate students who earn a small hourly fee for assisting faculty at universiities and colleges in managing courses and students.

So now they’re even unionizing college students (graduate level). What’s next, unionized daisies? How about an orange grove, sign those up.

Lourdes on November 11, 2011 at 4:05 PM

The public employee unions are blood-sucking parasites. They won’t stop until their host is dead.

Cicero43 on November 11, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Words almost fail. Such unbelievably despicable behavior. And this isn’t illegal because… ? How on earth can it be legal to simply do this without them electing to be in the union? Is union membership mandatory simply because some legislature says so?

I wonder…. maybe I should go to this state and see if any of these medicare recipients would be interested in a class action lawsuit against the State and the SEIU.

Wonder how we could find out if this goes on in other states? Seems like a pretty good lawsuit to me!

Vanceone on November 11, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Yes – yes, it does.

Midas on November 11, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Automatic, involuntary, union membership and then automatic dues withdrawal from paychecks. What could be sweeter…

a capella on November 11, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Unions have organized and are organizing across the entire nation as to college-age youth and young adults in the “Occupy” events. It’s union-organized, union-assisted, union-associated and it’s not just some grassroots movement that’s sprung up by shared concerns, people have been enticed, agitated and involved by peer pressure that begins with unions pressuring those peers (and agitating the reasons why, namely, resentments at paying their own way or being asked to).

So we hear college students now yelling about demands for taxpayers to fork over higher property taxes, so students won’t have to pay “high college costs” themselves or be “burdened” by the costs later — their solution is to just have property owners already overburdened with social-political debt pay even more…

This is as nonsensical as it gets.

(1.) many a “property owner” has lost or is losing that personal property based upon ongoing higher taxes and plummeting earnings or available cash to pay their debts, some of which debts are way out of touch with what property is actually worth today;

(2.) Raising property taxes on property owners (1.) would result in yet more property owners becoming property-non-owners, thus defeating “college student” demands for college educations/students to be supported by the taxpayers; and,

(3.) Occupiers/college-agers continue to push for more Leftwing (“tax raising”) Socialist Democrats which in turn raises the costs of everything along with taxes, and, thus, everyone loses including the foolish, gullible college-agers.

If they don’t want higher costs and the financial burden of gaining a college education, stop electing Democrats who enlarge cost-expanding unions, feed public workers unions who then raise the cost of goods and services along with taxes and make everyone’s economic futures dim.

For being ‘intelligent,’ too many of these college-agers and this Occupier thing are certainly dim-witted. Want lower costs and don’t want to pay higher college costs? Stop electing and stop joining and stop supporting unions.

Lourdes on November 11, 2011 at 4:15 PM

This situation is disgusting and we need to keep fighting back. I just read that after SB5 was defeated here in OH, there is a move to put a Right To Work referendum on the 2012 ballot. The Union and the Democrat Party are one in the same and their strangle hold on America needs to be broken before it is too late. A story like this makes me kind of happy that even with no jobs – we make a mere $200./year too much for my adult son to qualify for Medicaid. And let’s not forget that the SEIU is behind the school cafeteria programs – which is why they are pushing so much for snacks and dinners (and of course the summer meals) programs – just more work time for their Union employees – paid for by the local taxpayers. Again.

jackal40 on November 11, 2011 at 4:16 PM

# of MSM stories on this: ZERO

# of “Frontline” episodes on this: ZERO

# of “60 Minutes” episodes on this: ZERO

# of “Daily Show” episodes on this: ZERO

# of “Colbert Report” episodes on this: ZERO

# of NPR stories on this: ZERO

# of New York Times stories on this: ZERO

# of “Nightline” episodes on this: ZERO

# of “Tavis Smiley” episodes on this: ZERO

# of any MSNBC stories on this: ZERO

Value of the totality of monumental corruption and hypocrisy in the left’s press kabal: priceless

Opposite Day on November 11, 2011 at 4:18 PM

What? It’s not like those mentally disabled people were going to do a very good job bribing the politicians that need bribing. And what’s more “progressive”? Helping the needy or preserving one’s political clout?

Bruce MacMahon on November 11, 2011 at 3:32 PM

That, in reality, is the Democrats’ way.

Lourdes on November 11, 2011 at 4:20 PM

This situation is disgusting and we need to keep fighting back. I just read that after SB5 was defeated here in OH, there is a move to put a Right To Work referendum on the 2012 ballot. The Union and the Democrat Party are one in the same and their strangle hold on America needs to be broken before it is too late. A story like this makes me kind of happy that even with no jobs – we make a mere $200./year too much for my adult son to qualify for Medicaid. And let’s not forget that the SEIU is behind the school cafeteria programs – which is why they are pushing so much for snacks and dinners (and of course the summer meals) programs – just more work time for their Union employees – paid for by the local taxpayers. Again.

jackal40 on November 11, 2011 at 4:16 PM

My hunch as to human nature as to the Ohio defeat of SB5 IS DUE TO the fact that the biggest unions (there and elsewhere) are police, firefighters, (what are called “first responders”) and teachers.

So the issue of “public safety” was paramount in many a person’s mind and SB5 was defeated BECAUSE it was sold to the voters as, if not passed, everyone’s public safety would be a high risk and general daily life would be wrecked by burning homes and businesses left unchecked and rampant crime left unabated, along with children running in the streets.

We already have children running in the streets (saw a bunch last evening in Southern CA, and no one did a thing about them, a crowd of over 30 running through an intersection after the dark abated an “Occupy” event nearby).

But as to police and firefighters, since they’re unionized, many a voter doesn’t want to see either of them unfunded or threatened. And my hunch is, as to the SB5 in Ohio, most voters had that in mind when voting, and didn’t support SB5 accordingly.

The problem is unionization, to restate the obvious, because it literally holds public safety hostage to get more of our money and ridicule the very process of “fairness” they use to con voters into supporting.

Lourdes on November 11, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Didn’t California just do the same thing?

cthulhu on November 11, 2011 at 3:17 PM

The University of California, along with Bill Gates, are among Obama’s biggest donors.

California is a funding-pump for the DNC. They also CREATE more Democrats by the fouled public education system and the Marx-Communist Democrat majority in the state legislature. California is what I’d call a breeder-farm for the DNC and they know it, it’s part of the DNC’s design.

Big unions, high taxes, millions of public workers union members, unions galore, California, ruined but the DNC is happy and very well fed because of it . Not to exclude Pelosi and Feinstein and Boxer, the evil hydra.

Lourdes on November 11, 2011 at 4:33 PM

This is a naked grab of power and money. In the Third World, these people drive around in trucks with machine guns mounted in the back to collect their protection money.

njcommuter on November 11, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Why does anybody still live in that state? It’s crazy.

Theophile on November 11, 2011 at 4:56 PM

The next, real, Attorney General we get…in January 2013, needs to hit SEIU and a few other service workers unions with a massive RICO indictment, nail down convictions, and haul the lot of them off to jail…plus demand full remuneration of all stolen funds.

coldwarrior on November 11, 2011 at 5:29 PM

I couldn’t believe this when I saw it earlier. It’s bad enough that they charge them union dues but they don’t get any of the “benefits” of belonging to the union. How is this legal and when will it stop?

Cindy Munford on November 11, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Michigan’s state Senate has thus far refused to act on a House bill to end the union theft from Medicaid recipients. One has to wonder why Democrats in Michigan, and their public-employee union allies, hate the poor.

I count 12 Democrats in the MI Senate. My question is: why the heck are the REPUBLICANS not acting on the House bill?!

Jimi on November 11, 2011 at 6:26 PM

For reference, here’s the list of MI Senators:

http://www.senate.michigan.gov/members/memberlist.htm

Jimi on November 11, 2011 at 6:28 PM

We all know what it’s about – extort money for the unions who turn around and donate back to the Dems.

I’d like to see some enterprising reporter (Team O’Reilly? Breitbart?) Occupy Jennifer Granholm’s Shadow and make her answer for this. It doesn’t matter so much that she’s the former Governor. It’s her idea, she’s a corrupt Dem, and she’s tight with the Community Organizer-in-Chief. Own in, Barry.

Buy Danish on November 11, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Perfect! Granholm is teaching at Bezerkely. And then there’s this:

A year and a half before Americans learned about Solyndra, Gov. Granholm stood next to Flint businessman Richard Short at a press conference and declared that the $9.1 million in state tax credits that her government had awarded his renewable energy company would mean 765 jobs. The next day, Mr. Short was arrested.

Turns out Ms. Granholm’s people had not known that their champion of green jobs was a convicted felon out on parole. Two months ago he was sentenced to prison after pleading no contest to making fraudulent statements on his application for the energy credits.

In the end, Ms. Granholm’s argument is simply a form of the same economic narcissism that animates people who never lose the charming faith that they know best how to spend other people’s money. In some ways, she intimates, her leadership was the precursor to hope and change. “It’s remarkable how in sync we are,” she quotes her communications director saying of the governor and Barack Obama.

Yes, indeed. If you liked Gov. Granholm’s Michigan, you’ll love President Obama’s America.

Indeed.

Buy Danish on November 11, 2011 at 6:35 PM

One has to wonder why Democrats in Michigan, and their public-employee union allies, hate the poor.

Democrats and unions hate everyone. Once you understand that none of this is surprising.

woodNfish on November 11, 2011 at 8:24 PM

As a Michigan resident I can tell you first hand just how frustrating it is at election time. fully 75 of Mi’s 83 counties could be considered “red” or conservative. but the other 8 counties are home to Detroit, Lansing, Flint, Saginaw, Grand Rapids etc. the Dems rule the predominantly African American cities.

Many of Michigan’s residents know how much damage unions have actually caused to this state, helping to flush a once thriving automotive industry.

Tonynoboloney on November 12, 2011 at 12:02 AM

The win in the MI legislature and the Governor’s chair will help in 2012 because the redistricting is more favorable to the true red nature of most of the counties here. So we will probably have to wait until 2013 before we can see more of a swing back to better government policies and finish undoing the damage that Granholm did in this state. She was a real piece of work.

karenhasfreedom on November 12, 2011 at 12:53 AM

For reference, here’s the list of MI Senators:

http://www.senate.michigan.gov/members/memberlist.htm

Jimi on November 11, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Thanks for that link, Jimi.

I’d sure like to hear them defend their INaction.

listens2glenn on November 12, 2011 at 1:46 AM

About that “earlier cut-off” .. not so fast there:
Forced Unionization Scheme Still Collecting Cash – Lawmakers Mystified

Oddly ironic that Gov. Grand-mole had to leave the state to find work for herself and hubby — good riddance
/.

CaveatEmpty on November 12, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Maybe it’s something about graduating from Harvard that turns you into an instant moron! Jenny Granholm was a Harvard grad along with Obama. That’s the reason he consulted with her on economic issues. Since both of them are lawyers, why wouldn’t they know everything there is to know about the economy? Jenny only ran half a million jobs out of the state and sent the unemployment rate to 14 percent.

flytier on November 12, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Oh sure you all complain yet if it were on the ballot … you faux “tea Party” people would let it go. I am an Ohio resident I saw all of the “TEA PARTY” people act like they cared about cutting spending… then… OMG … cut spending EXCEPT their salaries… I have seen so many “TEA PARTY scholl teachers” TEA PARTY Ohio road workers” TEA PARTY COPS, firefighters & nurse” all vote to stop Gov. Kasichs SB 5 cause it affected their jobs…Hypicrites…Obama will win because the TEA Party are full of hypocrites

charmingtail on November 13, 2011 at 6:41 AM