Medicaid Work Requirements, Good or Bad Idea
A big discussion these days surrounds the question whether able bodied adults should have to work to receive Medicaid welfare entitlements.
The question I have is why is that even a question? Why is that even considered to be a controversial question? I believe most people believe that of course you should have to work if you can, why should other people have to take care of you and your family because you choose not to attempt to take care of yourself and your family.
According to section 1115 of the Social Security Act, it authorizes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to approve state governments’ requests for Medicaid waivers. This waiver allows individual states to tailor their program implementation to their states respective needs or citizens desires.
Jesse Hathaway, a research fellow with the Heartland Institute, wrote a piece published in the Detroit News that discusses why there should be work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Pregnant woman and the elderly are excused from this work requirement why should any other able bodied adult be.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published guidelines for individual states seeking to use Section 1115 to institute work requirements affecting “non-elderly, non-pregnant adult Medicaid beneficiaries who are eligible for Medicaid on a basis other than disability.”
Did you know that the federal government spent $368 billion, that comes to approximately $1,138 per man, woman and child, on Medicaid in 2016. That means that today about 11 cents out of every dollar taken from taxpayers goes to this one program. It will only get worse, according to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the gap between the national government’s taxes and spending, which we refer to as the deficit, will exceed $1.46 trillion in 2027, or roughly $4,144 per person.
According to article:
Absent a major course correction, the cost of Medicaid alone is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 5.9 percent over the next decade, reaching a total cost of $655 billion per year by 2027, or about $1,845 per capita. That’s nearly double its current size.
Many people believe that if you give more state-level control of their Medicaid implementation it will discourage cost overruns and incentivizes these states to fight fraud and mismanagement. Why, because more of their citizens tax dollars will go to fund this program if not. It will make it easier for those citizens to hold their bureaucrats and politicians accountable, it just makes sense does it not.
We should do whatever we can to encourage people to break the cycle of poverty and do their best to become self-sufficient. If they cannot find work at the time they should be volunteering their time to improve their communities and or take training which will help them achieve the skill sets needed to improve their lot in life.