For Immediate Release
Medicaid Work Requirements: Cruel, Stupid and Illegal
Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen
WASHINGTON - Note: The Trump administration has proposed imposing work requirements on Medicaid recipients.
The Trump administration’s new policy of permitting states to impose work requirements for Medicaid eligibility is cruel, stupid and illegal.
It is cruel because it not only denies the basic truth that health care is a right, it explicitly conditions access to health care on wealth. The work requirement will deny care to untold numbers of Americans. It will cause needless suffering and kill people – low-income people only.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Our Summer Campaign Is Underway
Support Common Dreams Today
Independent News and Views Putting People Over Profit
It is stupid because it will actually prevent people from working – with health needs unattended, many low-income people will be unable to seek work. Even worse, it will undermine broad public health priorities. Medicaid plays a key role in the national response to the opioid epidemic, which the Trump administration has declared a public health emergency, for example. Imposing work requirements on Medicaid eligibility will directly worsen the epidemic.
It is illegal because it contravenes Medicaid’s purpose of providing medical assistance to low-income and vulnerable people.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma has condescendingly talked about combating the “soft bigotry” of low expectations for Medicaid recipients. What she is in fact doing is promoting the hard bigotry of animus against poor people – the hard and shameful bigotry of health care denial based on wealth.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.