Republicans Warm to Obamacare With Work Requirements
In nearly a dozen Republican-dominated states, either the governor or conservative legislators are seeking to add work requirements to Obamacare Medicaid expansion, much like an earlier generation pushed for welfare to work.
The move presents a politically acceptable way for conservative states to accept the billions of federal dollars available under Obamacare, bringing health care coverage to millions of low-income people. But to the Obama administration, a work requirement is a non-starter, an unacceptable ideological shift in the 50-year-old Medicaid program and a break with the Affordable Care Act’s mission of expanding health care coverage to all Americans. The Health and Human Services Department has rejected all requests by states to tie Medicaid to work.
But the idea is catching fire among Republicans —and may well resonate on the presidential campaign trail in 2016.
In Indiana, Florida, Utah, and at least eight other GOP-dominated states, either the governor or state lawmakers have sought to tie Medicaid to work. Supporters see it as a way of taming a health care entitlement they regard as excessively costly and riddled with fraud and abuse.
Arkansas’ Asa Hutchison is one GOP governor who is striving to find a way to keep the millions of dollars flowing to his state under its version of expansion — now covering around 230,000 people — amid demands of conservatives. He’s open to a work requirement.
“This is supposed to be an incentive and encouragement for people to work versus an incentive for people to just receive the government benefit and not be part of a working culture of Arkansas,” Hutchison told POLITICO during a recent interview about Medicaid in the state Capitol.
Read more: politico.com
Do they not know how many people on Medicaid ALREADY WORK? And those who don’t work are disabled, elderly or CHILDREN.
I just can’t even.