Michigan Medicaid Recipients and Work Requirements
Take all the emotion and politics away and the question really comes down to whether you believe all able bodied adults should be required to work to be eligible for welfare.
It really is as simple as that. You either believe in incentivizing those who ask other people to pay for or help pay for their existence to work or you do not.
Let’s be honest here, because that is what I strive to do every day on my radio show and in my personal life, ask my kids.
There is a political ideology in America that fights every proposed law or regulation that attempts to make able bodied adults responsible for their own lives. Why they do this I can only speculate because they cannot clearly define why they oppose incentivizing able bodied people to work.
Now I know that this ideology attempts to bring emotion into their reasoning but as I started this piece off with, emotion has to be taken off the table when discussing this issue. You either believe able bodied people should work or not. I understand that during high unemployment times this crazy thought that people should be asked to work if they ask other people who do work to help pay for their existence, can be revisited and possibly modified for a very short period of time, in fact a period of time that must have a sunset clause in it.
There is a bill that was introduced by State Senator Mike Shirkey, R-Clark Lake, which would require recipients of the state's Healthy Michigan Medicaid program to work. Once the bill was introduced into his committee, the Senate Michigan Competitiveness Committee, he decided to make a few changes to it.
If the bill is passed by the House and Senate and signed by Governor Snyder, Michigan would need to request a waiver from the federal government. Now that we have a President who also believes in this crazy thought that people should be asked to work if they ask other people who do work to help pay for their existence, this may be possible. Other states have taken advantage of this opportunity.
Under the substitute bill introduced in the committee, State Senator Shirkey proposed several changes to his original legislation that would:
- Require Medicaid recipients to work 29 instead of 30 hours per week as originally proposed
- Exclude a pregnant woman from the definition of an "able-bodied adult" who would be required to work
- Exempt a sole caretaker for somebody under 6 years old from the work requirements
- Exempt a full-time student who is emancipated or whose parents qualify for Medicaid from the work requirements
- Allow for work requirement modification if a person with an acute medical condition or disability has a work limitation according to a physician
- Add a trigger that if unemployment reaches 8.5% in a region, a person could meet the work requirements by actively seeking employment
- Institute random audits of Medicaid recipients to see if they are meeting work requirements
Do any of these changes sound outrageous to you? In fact I am curious to find out why they changed the 30 hour week to 29 let alone why is it not 40.
I am also curious to find out why he and others believe that a pregnant women is not able to work. I see pregnant women working all the time, in fact they have worked pretty close to their due date.
The Michigan Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rich Studley was quoted in a Mlive article stating:
I don't regret the decision we made at the time. But now almost 5 years later we look back at the intent... there are big gaps between the promise and the performance
Michigan League for Public Policy President and CEO Gilda Jacobs group is opposed to incentivize people to work if they ask other people who work to help pay for their existence, was quoted in the article saying:
Research shows that a majority of Medicaid recipients who can work are already working and that work requirements will result in the loss of coverage for individuals, create an increased and undue burden on physicians and employers unable to complete cumbersome paperwork, come at a significant financial cost to both state and federal government, harm families already living on the edge and may result in legal action
First of all Ms. Jacobs research does not show “that a majority of Medicaid recipients who can work are already working”, ask State Senator and far left advocate Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, who is the minority vice chair of the committee. She stated that she has been presented with data that show’s only half of Medicaid recipients are working. Half Ms. Jacobs is not a majority, unless you use common core math. I can also assume since Senator Warren, again a very far left advocate, is pointing to data that shows only half of people on Medicaid work I can assure you that it is less or much less than half.
Also Ms. Jacobs, since when have you been worried about the regulations your ideology forces on individuals and companies creating an “undue burden on physicians and employers unable to complete cumbersome paperwork” as well as causing a “significant financial cost to both state and federal government”?
There are plenty of other groups who do not believe in the crazy thought that people should be asked to work if they ask other people who do work to help pay for their existence, they are:
- The Michigan Poverty Law Program
- Michigan's Children
- Michigan Community Action Agency
- The American Heart Association
- The Michigan Academy of Family Physicians
- and the National Association of Social Workers
Again it simply comes down to the crazy thought that people should be asked to work if they ask other people who do work to help pay for their existence or not.
Just do not allow emotion to cloud your judgement, because if you do this problem will balloon to proportions that we people who work to pay for our existence will not be able to support all the people who want us to pay for their existence.