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Dignify Work, Not Dependence

Mar 14, 2019 by AFP

Grassroots group reacts to passage of bill that jeopardizes existing approved waiver

CONCORD, NH – Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire (AFP-NH) today expressed disappointment after the passage of Senate Bill 290, which lessens work and community engagement requirements for able-bodied adults and would reduce those eligible for such requirements.

“Work requirements for able-bodied adults receiving Medicaid brings dignity, self-worth, and expanded opportunity. We should ensure even more people can contribute and participate in our strong economy that has provided opportunities to everyone, lifting individuals and families out of poverty,” said Greg Moore, AFP-NH State Director. “Dignifying work and not dependence will enable more resources to go towards care for the elderly, disabled, and pregnant women that Medicaid was intended to help. AFP-NH urges the legislature to reconsider this proposal and not jeopardize the existing approved waiver currently agreed with the federal government.”

Background:

New Hampshire’s state budget requires the state to enact work requirements for the Medicaid expansion population by April 30th, or the state must notify expansion recipients that the program will terminate on December 31st.

Work requirements have been utilized with the state’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, helping lift Granite Staters out of state assistance.

Last year, former Office of Management Budget Director Mick Mulvaney released a statement opposing Medicaid expansion. Former OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said the President’s budget repeals Medicaid expansion due to the “explosion of state and federal spending” and the “abundant evidence” showing new Medicaid recipients are not experiencing improved health outcomes.

Medicaid was intended to help just the most vulnerable Americans like the elderly and the disabled, but its expansion to able-bodied, childless, working-age adults is creating an unsustainable burden on taxpayers and crowding out resources for those truly needy populations.

Medicaid expansion is simply not cost effective. Researchers from MIT, Harvard, and Dartmouth found that Medicaid recipients only receive 20 to 40 cents of benefit for every dollar spent on Medicaid. Insurance companies, not low-income citizens, are the biggest winners of Medicaid expansion. Kaiser Health News reported that Medicaid insurer profits more than tripled in 34 states and the District of Columbia after Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

However, welfare reforms that require able-bodied adults to work, train, or volunteer have a proven track record of increasing employment and wages while decreasing dependency.

Last year, New Hampshire submitted a waiver to the federal government seeking to implement work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients.