Poll: Majority of Voters Support Work Requirements for Medicaid

Medicaid protest
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A new poll revealed on Monday that 51 percent of voters support work requirements for Medicaid, while 37 percent of percent of American voters oppose the measure.

Sixty-seven percent of Republicans approve of work requirements in exchange for Medicaid, while 52 percent of Democrats oppose the measure. Forty-six percent of independents support work requirements, while 36 percent of them do not approve.

Currently, no state Medicaid program has work requirements. however, many states have submitted waivers to the Trump administration to allow them to implement work requirements for able-bodied adults without children.

Drew Altman, a chief executive at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said that Republicans and Democrats have a fundamentally different view of Medicaid. Altman explained, “Liberals and Democrats tend to view Medicaid as a government insurance program and conservatives and Republicans view it as a welfare program, and as a welfare benefit for which there should be a reciprocal obligation.”

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin asked the Trump White House to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Kentucky would require that able-bodied adults without dependents work at least 20 hours a week to qualify for Medicaid. Kentucky’s waiver would also lock out Medicaid recipients for six months if they get a new job or a new salary without notifying the state. In the waiver, Medicaid recipients would have to pay a premium for Medicaid or pay a fixed amount every time they use Medicaid to visit a doctor.

Bevin argues that adding work requirements to the Medicaid program could save Kentucky at least $2.4 billion over the next five years.

Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), another state leader seeking work requirements for Medicaid, said that social safety net programs should lift people up rather than trapping them in a cycle of poverty.

“We should treat public assistance more like a trampoline than a hammock,” Walker explained.

Read the rest of the poll here.