As the Trump administration looks to give states more leeway to make their own decisions regarding Medicaid work requirements, liberals are working overtime to scare people into thinking this is bad for society. Instead, studies show the exact opposite.
Earlier this month, Seema Verma, who heads the Health and Human Service Department’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said that this is just “soft bigotry.”
“Believing that community engagement requirements do not support or promote the objectives of Medicaid is a tragic example of the soft bigotry of low expectations consistently espoused by the prior administration. Those days are over,” she said, “We will approve proposals that promote community engagement activities. Every American deserves the dignity and respect of high expectations and as public officials we should deliver programs that instill hope and say to each beneficiary that we believe in your potential.”
Meanwhile, liberal outlets are taking this to the extreme. Newsweek even suggested that this move would increase crime in America. Sorry, but Medicaid doesn’t prevent crime, Newsweek. If that were the case, California would be the most peaceful state in the union and Maine would be too horrific to imagine (spoiler: nope). Being employed does, in fact, keep crime down, however, as multiple studies have shown.
Nonsense aside, a recent paper by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) shows that adding work requirements helps to ensure that helps gets to those who need it the most. In a press release, FGA Vice President of Research Jonathan Ingraham and Research Director Nic Horton discuss that work requirements are the best way to get people on the path to independence.
“FGA’s past research has shown that the most effective way to free people from the trap of dependency is through work—and Medicaid should be no exception. Since 2000, the number of people enrolled in Medicaid has more than doubled. Total Medicaid spending has nearly tripled since 2000 and spending on able-bodied adults has increased by an astonishing 700 percent. Not only is this unsustainable, but it’s limiting our ability to help the truly needy,” said Horton.
“We know work requirements work. We’ve seen them work in Kansas, and Maine, and in states across the nation. When able-bodied adults gain their independence through work, their incomes skyrocket and they’re able to free themselves from government dependence. It’s past time for the federal government to empower states to enact Medicaid work requirements,” said Ingram.
With states being empowered to enact a work requirement, and more of them choosing to do so, this independence is in sight.