Kansas Agencies Stops Helping Pro-ObamaCare Union

Cross-posted from State House Call

By John LaPlante

Kansas is a deep-red, Republican state that would have nothing to do with a government takeover of health care, right?

Stay Engaged

Receive our weekly emails!

Not quite. Start with the fact that Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama’s secretary of health and human services, is a Democrat and former governor. Now, two agencies in the state government headed by her hand-picked successor have been helping a union that’s at the forefront of ObamaCare, until recently.

I’ll let the Kansas City Star pick up the story:

The state’s Department of Aging and Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services sent more than 1,000 letters last month to the payroll agents of in-home health workers seeking workers’ names, addresses and phone numbers. The workers are not state employees, but they receive state funds to provide in-home care to the elderly and disabled.

The agencies were responding to an open records request by the SEIU, a union that represents health care and government workers. Agency officials said they had no choice but to comply.

But after receiving few responses and several complaints, the agencies sent a second letter this week saying they wouldn’t be collecting the information after all.

Just over 3 percent of the letters got a response, which suggests a fair amount of skepticism towards the SEIU, which has given Sebelius and her PAC over $130,000. The union says that it’s asking for public records. The law appears to be murky, but the Star notes Republican leaders say “the state is not required to provide information it doesn’t already have.”

The Lawrence-Journal World said, “The agencies had sought the information for the Service Employees International Union, which never said specifically why it wanted to the information.” (Hey, LJW. I like your coverage generally, but do I need to sell you a clue?)

Americans for Tax Reform, no friend of the SEIU, says follow the money. See also Bob Weeks, blogger at Wichita Liberty.