Is this the Right Time for Work Requirements?


The Trump administration has recently allowed states to require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work if they are receiving benefits.  The guidelines allow states to require Medicaid enrollees to work, volunteer or enroll in classes or work training.  The administration is classifying them as “community engagement.”

Some studies have shown that work requirements are an effective way to move individuals out of dependency.  States that have implemented work requirements in other welfare programs have reportedly seen able-bodied adults leave welfare in record numbers.  And those leaving the program saw their incomes more than double on average.

Some also argue that the Trump administration’s new regulations are coming at an appropriate time.  Nearly 28 million able-bodied adults are now on Medicaid.  That’s up from less than 7 million in 2000.  Spending on those individuals has also increased by 700% over that same time.

States would have to apply for a waiver from the federal government before instituting any new programs under the Trump administration’s guidelines.  They will also have to track the results of how many people, for example, lose coverage as a result of them.  That information will also be required to be made public.


Join the discussion