Since 2000, the number of able-bodied adults using Medicaid quadrupled nationwide. The program is one of the chief costs for state governments, squeezing other priorities.
When last summer Arkansas became the first state to require Medicaid recipients to work in exchange for taxpayer-provided health care, welfare advocates would have had you believing the world was ending: health coverage for the needy was being slashed, the reporting process was too complex, and those who lost coverage didn’t even know about the requirement. On and on the hysteria went.
But those apoplectic claims were far from reality. Arkansas’ work requirement was a big step towards restoring the state Medicaid program to its objective. It was saving taxpayers money, freeing up resources for the truly needy, and—notably—changing people’s lives for the better.