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Just the facts: Medicaid and work requirements

House GOP members are pushing to add work requirements for Medicaid recipients.  This makes sense, right? They are getting taxpayer-paid benefits, and should be:

  • working or
  • looking for work or
  • in school preparing for work.

Let’s see…

First, most Medicaid recipients are totally disabled (according to Social Security), are pregnant moms or moms and new babies or are poor older folks.

Among recipients that are none of the above,

  • 3 out of 5 are already working
  • 1 out of 5 are in school or are caregivers for family members

Of the remainder, at any one time more than half not working because they are sick or disabled.

Which leaves just 7 percent of which most are:

  • retired or
  • can’t find work (often because they have no transportation).

Are there freeloaders? of course…there will ALWAYS be cheaters, like my former neighbor who owned millions of dollars of real estate and bragged about how he had great free insurance from Medicaid. (Yes I turned him in).

source KFF

Oh, and the Supreme Court has weighed in...dismissing pending appeals in cases that had found work requirement approvals unlawful. This ruling essentially confirmed lower court rulings against work requirements.

What does this mean for you?

It’s really easy for we relatively well-off, college-educated, financially-stable professionals with good jobs, internet access, cell phones and employer-paid health insurance to complain about “freeloaders”…

who are/have none of the above.



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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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