Dem Rep. Moore: Work Rules in Debt Limit Bill ‘Would Save a Lot’ But They Force People to Work for ‘Small Businesses’ that ‘Exploit People’

On Thursday’s broadcast of C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) acknowledged that the stricter Medicaid work requirements in the House Republican debt ceiling bill “would save a lot of money,” having these work requirements “forces” people to work and would help small businesses “that need to exploit people” and that “The people who receive Medicaid are people who already work.”

Moore said, “These work requirements are really just designed to take benefits away from the neediest people. I’ll give you an example: About $11 billion over the decade would be saved by not providing Medicaid to people with one provision, providing that people who are 50 years old — instead of 50 years old, they would raise the age to 55, so that if you were an ‘able-bodied’ 55-year-old, you’d have to work in order to receive Medicaid. And that would save a lot of money, because there are a lot of people who are 55 who are not [‘able-bodied.’] They conflate welfare recipients, women who have children, maybe multiple children, barriers with so-called able-bodied people that they want to take benefits away from.”

She continued, “SNAP…what data show is that 80% of people who receive SNAP have worked the year before or the year after they’ve received SNAP. So, something happens in their family. There’s a loss of a job, a debt, lowered wages. Something has happened to create the need for this supplemental nutrition in a family. This is all just word salad nonsense to really stir up anger-based voters and make them feel jealous. The people who receive Medicaid are people who already work. Right now in the state of Wisconsin, if you worked every single weekday at $7.50 an hour, say you’ve got a job working at a fast food restaurant — and probably couldn’t get full-time work, these poor small businesses that Mr. Scalise was talking about — if you got yourself two of these jobs, worked $7.50 an hour, 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, you’d make $15,080 a year and that’d be just enough money to disqualify you from Medicaid. And so, there’s a lot of nonsense in this.”

Moore further stated, “With regard to TANF recipients, over the decade, they only save $6 million over a decade by requiring more people to work, because people who receive TANF are by far the most vulnerable people. They, by definition, are parents who have kids, dependent kids. Most people on TANF are children and the majority of those of those children are under age 12. So, they’re not going to get many workers out of that population.”

She concluded, “This, with regard to supporting small businesses, small businesses that have a business model, that need to exploit people, pay them subpar wages, rely on part-time workers, seasonal workers, immigrants, these people who can be exploited, these are the kinds of small businesses that Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) is talking about that he wants to support with a government-sponsored program that targets these workers, forces them to work and never be able to lift themselves out of poverty through this work.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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