The evidence that this measure is only there to make life more difficult for poor people is the fact that 93% of people on Medicaid – who are not sick or disabled, are elderly, caring for family members, or are in full-time school – are already working. Medicaid is there to help all of these people, and job requirements were never about work.
According to the draft plan received from the Washington Post, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “have serious concerns that this is not the right time to test policies that risk significant loss of health insurance or benefits.” A global pandemic that has made millions of Americans sick and forced millions more out of work is the wrong time to make health care more difficult.
The government said in the document that the Trump administration gave 13 states approval to impose the requirements and 10 others applied for approval. But among them, Arkansas was the only state to follow, removing 18,000 people from the program before a federal judge blocked it. The successful challenges against Arkansas and Kentucky in federal courts resulted in a number of states choosing to waive labor requirements waiver requests, and in other states Democratic governors took office and abandoned the efforts of their predecessors.