Exclusive – Study: Only 13% Left Arkansas Medicaid Program Due to Non-Compliance, Not Work Requirement

An ambulance passes people protesting Trump administration policies that threaten the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, near the Wilshire Federal Building on January 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. / AFP / DAVID MCNEW (Photo credit should read DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images)

A Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) study exclusively obtained by Breitbart News found that only 87 percent of Arkansans left the state Medicaid program due to higher incomes and moving out of state, not due to the allegedly onerous Medicaid work requirement.

The FGA released study found that, despite the establishment media’s reporting, there were little to no hurdles facing Arkansans’ ability to comply with the state Medicaid work requirement and that large populations of the state left the Medicaid because they either no longer qualified for the program.

The study arises as an Obama-appointed federal judge struck down Arkansas and Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirement because they allegedly did not meet Medicaid’s purpose of providing health insurance to the needy even though one statutory objective of Medicaid is to “attain or retain capability for independence.” Medicaid’s statute on obtaining self-sufficiency would suggest that Medicaid work requirements help fulfill Medicaid’s prescribed goal as a temporary, not permanent, safety net.

A previous FGA exclusively obtained by Breitbart News found Arkansas was on track to save $300 million with its Medicaid work requirement.

Nic Horton, the research director for the FGA, told Breitbart News in an interview he believes there remains a “false narrative out there that the only reason enrollment was going down in Arkansas with the work requirement that just because people were being thrown off” of Arkansas Works because “they didn’t have Internet access, or they didn’t have computers.”

The study disputed five myths, including:

  1. Arkansans were unaware of the Medicaid work requirement. Instead, the FGA found that Arkansan Medicaid enrollees received more than one million total communications regarding the work requirement.
  2. Arkansans only had the option for reporting their work requirements form online, despite that citizens had numerous opportunities to report their work activities.
  3. Arkansans did not have access to the Internet, despite that the study showed that 92 percent of adults in the working-age range had access to a smartphone.
  4. Arkansans were too busy to report their work requirement forms, despite that they only had to file.
  5. Arkansans were mostly removed because of their failure to comply with the work requirement, despite the study showing that many Arkansans gained such a rise in income that they no longer needed Medicaid.
  6. Arkansans who had reporting difficulties were eliminated for the program, despite the study revealing that many citizens were given good-faith exemptions.

However, as the FGA found, from June 2018 to February 2019, only 13 percent of citizens left Arkansas Works, the state Medicaid, program as the result of non-compliance. In contrast, 87 percent of people left the program due to increased incomes, incarceration, moving to another state, or other various reasons.

The FGA research director said, “Almost as many people left because of increases to incomes than those who failed to meet the work requirement.”

“It’s hard for me to see how that’s not a good thing that people are increasing their incomes beyond the point” at which they need Medicaid,” Horton added.

The FGA wrote that in the “vast majority of cases” most able-bodied adults left the program because they no longer “qualified for the program,” compared to those who failed to comply with the work requirement.

The FGA added the “Myths about the Arkansas experience are just that— myths— and thanks to the state’s innovation, thousands of Arkansans have been moved from welfare to work.”

Horton told Breitbart News the support for Medicaid work requirements are “very bipartisan across the board;” however, “there’s a pocket of the far-left that wants people on welfare, they want to keep people dependent.”

Americans have strongly approved of Medicaid work requirements. A 2018 Rassmussen poll found 64 percent of Americans approve of work requirements for Medicaid.

The FGA director said that one’s assistance from government welfare and Medicaid “should be temporary, this should not be a permanent situation for non-disabled adults and that’s what I think a work requirement ensures.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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