A little work (requirement) never hurt anyone

September 11, 2017 by  

Arizona is moving ahead with the proposal to add work requirements for able-bodied individuals to continue receiving Medicaid.  You would think the world was coming to an end, but as Naomi Lopez-Bauman from the Goldwater Institute put it in Sunday’s news coverage, “Instead of a safety net, Medicaid has become a poverty trap for some, where people are not working in order to keep free health care.”  Work requirements may fix that.The good news is that this time around, Arizona’s reforms may actually be approved. Last year – under the Obama administration, the most meaningful parts of the waiver request were rejected, but with a new brand of leadership in Washington the chances of approval are much greater.

Top reasons work requirements & other changes are needed NOW:

  1. One out of every four Arizonans is on AHCCCS
  2. Aligning program incentives is key to transitioning individuals who need short term assistance towards private health care options
  3. Welfare reform in the 1990’s proved similarly successful
  4. Medicaid is financially unsustainable
  5. System failure places the truly vulnerable on the program at risk
  6. Medicaid is growing by double digits in expansion states like Arizona
  7. Entitlement programs are driving our debt crisis  – nearly $20 trillion currently
  8. Exceptions in the law exempt the vulnerable from work & other requirements

SB 1092 – signed into law in 2015 – mandates that AHCCCS make the request to the Federal Government every year until approved – an onerous way for states to implement common sense reforms indeed – only with Washington’s stamp of approval.  But under current Medicaid constraints, it’s either “Mother, may I?” or the status quo.


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