I am all for work requirements for those receiving Medicaid benefits and extended unemployment and other such government benefits as well. But only on certain conditions. As reported in Sunday’s Seattle Times (8/12/18, A-4, “Administration’s workaround for Medicaid work-requirements ban” ), the Trump Administration doggedly persists in supporting work requirements as a condition to receiving Medicaid as proposed by Kentucky and other states, even though, as the court found in overturning the Kentucky requirement, it would deprive thousands of poor recipients of Medicaid coverage. But the administration is seeking a work-around to avoid the court’s decision.
Well, okay, if the government is going to require this of Medicaid beneficiaries, the government should be required to provide them with this:
- Jobs paying at least $15 an hour wage, for example jobs working on roads, bridges or housing for the homeless or in parks, schools and on other government facilities or providing other government services where such work is badly needed;
- Day care at the government expense for the children of these workers wherever needed;
- Transportation to and from their jobs when needed.
Moreover, work requirements must be limited to those physically and mentally healthy enough to work. Exceptions should apply in cases of single parents of infants where daycare is not appropriate and for those caring for a sick or disabled family member or loved one. Where job training is needed or would be beneficial for Medicaid recipients then that should be provided in place of work requirements until training is completed. Proof that an applicant has met the work requirements or is entitled to an exemptions must be simple and direct and once the applicant has claimed that he or she has met the requirements the burden must then shift to the government to prove otherwise I’m okay with all that, but is Kentucky or the Trump Administration? I don’t think so.