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Michigan, Medicaid and the Lottery

Chino Hills 7-Eleven Sold One Of The Winning Powerball Tickets
Getty Images by: Ringo H.W. Chiu

The Republicans in Washington D.C. might just look to no other than Michigan for inspiration concerning Medicaid and lottery winners.

According to the Detroit News, Michigan Congressman Fred Upton (R-St Joseph) has sponsored a bill that will look a lot like what the State of Michigan passed in 2012. That Michigan bill signed by Governor Snyder in 2012 required state agencies to cross-check lists of those who win more than $1,000 in the lottery with current recipients of state aid.

Congressman Upton’s believe’s his bill could save hundreds of millions of dollars over a decade. In the Detroit News reticle he is quoted saying:

“Medicaid is all determined by income. To us, if you won a substantial amount of money, you shouldn’t qualify. We’re not talking about the $2 or $4 or $5 winning ticket.”

This bill is looking to close a loophole in Medicaid eligibility rules for non-disabled adults. With that loophole the lottery winnings only count as income in the month that they are received, I am not joking. So you could literally win millions in one month, not receive Medicaid for that month then get back on Medicaid the next month.

This bill would basically end Medicaid for a prescribed number of months depending on how much money is won in the lottery. Winnings over $80,000 would be plugged into the formula to decide how many months the winner and Medicaid recipient would be withdrawn from the Medicaid welfare program. According to the Detroit News this bill will also covers other lump-sum income including one-time gifts and personal-injury awards.

When I first read the Detroit News article I could not believe that we actually had such a large loophole. How could our brilliant politicians not catch that someone might win millions or even hundred of thousands of dollars and only be withdrawn from Medicaid for the month the receive the winnings then get back on the taxpayer’s dole the next month.

Probably because they are not that brilliant.

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595


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