The California budget passed last February included cuts aimed at, among other things, home health care.  The SEIU, a service employees union, along with other groups, sponsored protests against these cuts last month:

“When legislators buried these ‘trigger cuts’ deep in the February budget agreement, they were counting on not having to take responsibility for their decision to make such unpopular cuts. We’re coming to our leaders’ front doors to demand they accept responsibility for their decisions that will harm the elderly, the sick, people with disabilities, struggling families, and students,” said Paula Cantera, a home care provider in Napa County.

You’d think it’s all about the sick people, listening to them.  Strangely enough, the article failed to mention this:  Fraud infects state in-home care program

Reporting from Sacramento — Loose oversight and bureaucratic inertia have allowed fraud to fester in a rapidly expanding multibillion-dollar state program that provides personal caregivers to the impoverished elderly and disabled. Hundreds of reports of scams and swindles are going without investigation.

Prosecutors and program administrators across the state say they are alarmed by the ease with which people are taking advantage of the program, In Home Supportive Services.

…”This program is very easy to abuse,” said Michael Ramsey, the district attorney in Butte County in Northern California, which disbanded its In Home Supportive Services fraud unit in 2007 because of budget cuts. “It invites chicanery and fraud.”

Who is a big benficiary of this fraud?

Some critics of the program say politics has blocked efforts to combat fraud. The program has become a steady source of revenue for the Service Employees International Union, among the most powerful interest groups in the Capitol, as well as a second union, the United Domestic Workers of America.

Under the program, people receiving care are entitled to hire whom they wish at government expense. Most hire their relatives, because family members are often the most appropriate to provide the needed round-the-clock feeding, changing, bathing and other care. Wages range from $8 to $14.68 an hour, depending on the county. Those workers are required to pay monthly union dues that total millions of dollars. The SEIU, for example, collects nearly $5 million a month from its 223,000 In Home system members.

The unions donate heavily to the campaigns of Democrats who control the Legislature and organize get-out-the-vote efforts on their behalf.

“There is a huge amount of money flowing to unions from this vast pool of workers they have been able to organize,” said Sen. Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto). “Anything they see as a threat to that income stream they are going to challenge and use the political muscle they have to do it.”

They’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take it any more.  Take any effort to protect the taxpayer, I mean.  Makes it hard to swallow that their concern is mainly about the people being cared for.  I hope California voters take this into account when they vote on Proposition 1A in May.

Thanks to FreedomPolitics

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