Legal challenge signals Legislature to put brakes on Medicaid work requirements

Medicaid+work+requirements.jpgThe Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on the announcement today of a legal challenge against the federal Department of Health and Human Services for its approval of Michigan’s Section 1115 Medicaid waiver project. The statement can be attributed to Michigan League for Public Policy President and CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.

“All along we have said that the best remedy for Healthy Michigan enrollees is to stop work requirements before they start, and we appreciate the efforts of the Center for Civil Justice, the Michigan Poverty Law Program—and hopefully the courts—to intercede where the Legislature has failed to and to fight to protect the healthcare of Michigan residents. Medicaid is a supportive health program and should not be altered in such a way as to make it punitive and ineffective. We hope today spurs legislative action to put these work requirements on pause until this court case is settled. Affected Michigan residents shouldn’t have to wait on the courts—or experience unnecessary issues and coverage losses—for their elected officials to act.

Medicaid work requirements began as a partisan issue, with the Trump Administration approving them and Republican governors and Legislatures clamoring to adopt them, but increasingly—and rightfully so—there is near-universal hesitance to follow through with their implementation. Whether because of concerns over significant coverage losses, legal fights or the potential for legal fights, other states of all political leanings are pumping the brakes on their work requirements. Rather than charging ahead to implement potentially illegal and undoubtedly problematic Healthy Michigan work requirements, we urge the state to reconsider.”

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.mlpp.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.

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