Work requirements don't work
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Medicaid work requirements were recently struck down by a federal judge in yet another state, which represents another positive step toward removing this undue reporting burden for the poorest Americans.
Such requirements only make access to quality care harder for thousands of people. In Arkansas alone, since the policy was implemented last year, over 18,000 consumers lost health care coverage. If this policy was implemented nationwide, it’s estimated that between 1.4 million and 4 million Medicaid enrollees would lose health coverage.
In reality, the majority of Medicaid enrollees already work at least part-time. Those who don’t work attend school or have caregiving responsibilities. Ultimately, these onerous reporting requirements are wholly incompatible with the core objective of Medicaid: to provide quality health care for the most vulnerable populations.
In states where these programs were approved, they have been struck down or haven’t been implemented, demonstrating that work requirements are incompatible with the law. Other states have received approval but have not yet enforced these programs. Either way, Medicaid work requirements have put thousands of the most vulnerable Americans’ access to care in limbo. We must take action to prevent additional states from implementing this bad policy in the first place, so that millions of patients across the country will have peace of mind, knowing that quality, affordable health care will remain within reach.
Jason Resendez is a board member of Consumers for Quality Care Board in Washington, D.C.