Many Medicaid recipients in Wisconsin will now have to work to continue benefiting from the program.
President Donald Trump’s administration approved the work requirements Wednesday. The approval also allowed the state to begin charging monthly premiums of up to $8 for those who make between 50 percent and 100 percent of the federal poverty level, as well as a co-payments for using an emergency room for non-emergency services.
The new rules require childless adults under 50 to work at least 80 hours a month to maintain their coverage. If they do not fulfill these work requirements for a 48-month period, they will lose coverage, The Hill reported.
After being kicked from the program, an applicant would have to wait an additional six months to reapply.
Gov. Scott Walker celebrated the requirements, saying in a tweet “We’re removing barriers to work to help Wisconsinites transition from government dependence to true independence!”
Thanks to @POTUS and @SeemaCMS for approving Wisconsin’s BadgerCare Reform Waiver! We’re removing barriers to work to help Wisconsinites transition from government dependence to true independence! #RewardingWork pic.twitter.com/g1TVDmr9D3
— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) October 31, 2018
With crucial elections less than a week away, this may have been a risky move for conservatives in the Badger State.
Gov. Walker’s opponent this year is Democrat Tony Evers. Evers does not support the work requirements and is already leading in several polls. The fallout from this decision may place him even further ahead.
Even if this decision costs Walker the governorship, it needed to be done.
Welfare is seen by many as one of the worst things to impact poor communities. The benefits, which still do not require any work in most states, are said to subsidize unemployment and encourage fraud.
Arkansas is another state that recently instituted a work requirement for Medicaid. The state dropped over 4,000 people from the taxpayer’s payroll after the conditions went into effect.
Need for social safety net programs is slowly disappearing, as nationwide unemployment has been steadily dwindling down ever since Trump’s historic victory in 2016. The unemployment rate recently hit a 49-year low and shows little signs of slowing.
More people are now working, and with a slowdown of welfare expansion, the American economy is primed for an even higher upwards trend.
Democrats are planning to undo that hard work, and how far they get with that plan all comes down to how conservative America confronts the democratic blue wave. With a bulwark of liberal voters ready to flood the polls on election day, only a large turnout of Republicans will be able to counter it.
Like many recent stories, the future of this one depends on what happens on Nov. 6.
If Americans confirm the work of the GOP and President Trump, work requirements are likely to increase across the nation. In the case of a Democratic victory, welfare restrictions may become a thing of the past.
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