Robert and Patricia Haynes of Macomb Township take care of their adult children — Melissa, 34, and Kevin, 30 — who suffer from hypertonic cerebral palsy and function at the level of six-month-olds. Now, some of the Medicaid assistance that is supposed to go to the Haynes family is being diverted to the coffers of the Service Employee International Union.
The Hayneses are not alone. Under this arrangement, the SEIU has skimmed nearly $29 million from 56,000 Michigan home health care providers, most of whom are self-employed or family members caring for loved ones. In 2005, the SEIU held a virtually unpublicized election that roped these providers into the union — even though more than 80 percent of them did not vote.
In June 2011, the Michigan House passed legislation that would prevent people from being designated government employees simply because they receive a subsidy. Michigan's Senate Republicans, who hold a supermajority, have not considered the bill, allowing the SEIU to collect $4 million more over the intervening eight months.