Naples, FL — FGA commends Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson for his commitment to defend his states’ transformative Medicaid work requirement after a federal judge unilaterally thwarted the will of the people earlier this week.
In a press conference Thursday, Governor Hutchinson called the ruling “wrong” and said the state remains “fully committed” to the requirement, adding his administration is in “for the long haul.”
An overwhelming majority of Arkansans support the commonsense work requirement, including a majority of Arkansas Democrats and independent voters.
“Governor Hutchinson is right. This ruling is wrong for Arkansas and wrong for the country. One court ruling can’t change the facts: work requirements have improved our state for the better,” said Nic Horton, FGA research director.
“More than 12,000 Medicaid expansion enrollees have found work since the work requirement went into effect. Of the 18,000 able-bodied adults removed from the program for non-compliance, only 2,000 have re-enrolled.
At at time with record-low unemployment in our state and a projected 167,000 new jobs to be created this year, work requirements are exactly what our state needs. We are freeing up limited resources for truly needy Arkansans who rely on Medicaid and helping employers find workers they desperately need.
This fight is far from over and the people stand for welfare reform. Thankfully, Governor Hutchinson is standing with them,” Horton said.
A recent poll of Arkansas voters also found that 70 percent support expanding the state’s Medicaid work requirement to all able-bodied adults on the program.
Background: In June 2018, Arkansas became the first state in history to implement Medicaid work requirements for able-bodied, working-age adults. When the state reinstated food stamp work requirements a few years ago, incomes more than doubled after Arkansans left welfare.
The Foundation for Government Accountability is a non-profit, multi-state think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, and work reform. To learn more, visit TheFGA.org.