You: Hello, I’m calling because I’m extremely concerned that the Trump administration is allowing states to create work requirements in Medicaid. Does Congressman Faso support such a punitive policy?
Staffer: Thank you for your call. Congressman Faso has not taken a position on work requirements in Medicaid.
You: That’s not good enough. Congressman Faso should make a statement opposing work requirements that punish poor people by taking away their health care. Trump is trying to make it harder to be poor and we need to stand up in opposition to his schemes.
Staffer: Thank you for your comments.
You: Thank you. I request a written response from Congressman Faso.
Background from Indivisible:
TrumpCare would have destroyed Medicaid as we know it by ending its successful expansion and, for the first time, permanently transforming it into a cap system. Thankfully, we defeated TrumpCare last summer, but Trump isn’t done coming for Medicaid yet. He’s back with a sneak attack in partnership with Republican governors: conditioning Medicaid eligibility on work requirements. Tell your governor and Member of Congress (MoC) not to line up with Trump to take health care away from people relying on Medicaid.
WHAT TRUMP DID
In January, the Trump Administration sent a letter to state Medicaid Directors letting them know that the Administration supports the addition of work requirements as a condition of Medicaid eligibility. They characterized this as a “demonstration project” — but there is no experimental value in imposing this new barrier to Medicaid eligibility. It does not further Medicaid’s objectives.
WORK REQUIREMENTS DON’T WORK
Proponents of work requirements in Medicaid say they are needed to prevent dependency on government aid. This makes no sense. Eight in ten adults on Medicaid already work. And of those who don’t work, most report disabilities and illnesses preventing them from doing so.
The impact on low-income populations, many who work in seasonal and temporary jobs, of losing their healthcare because they were out of work for a month, will be devastating. If you want to encourage people to work, taking away their ability to get and stay healthy is not helpful.
Work requirements simply do not work. They already exist in the SNAP (food stamps) and TANF (cash welfare) programs, and for many, they have meant hardship. Also, studies have shown that they have done little to decrease poverty.
And to top it off, the Trump administration is now being sued. Fifteen Kentuckians enrolled in Medicaid filed a class action lawsuit, challenging the Kentucky waiver as inconsistent with the objectives of the Medicaid Act.