Naples, FL – Today, a federal judge blocked Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirement, which would require able-bodied adults in Medicaid to work, train, or volunteer on a part-time basis in order to receive benefits. The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) urges the court to reverse its erroneous decision and instead reaffirm the waiver as promoting the objectives of the Medicaid program to help individuals regain independence through work.
Kentucky was the first state to win approval for a Medicaid work requirement waiver following new guidance by the Trump administration in January of this year. Federal law allows the administration to approve Medicaid waivers that are “likely to assist in promoting the objectives of the program,” including helping families and individuals attain capability for independence.
Work requirements have been proven to be successful in assisting individuals and families attain independence in other welfare programs. Research shows that those leaving welfare after work requirements were implemented found work in more than 600 different industries saw their incomes more than double on average, and that higher wages more than offset lost welfare benefits, leaving them financially better off.
“Work is the only meaningful way for families and individuals to gain independence from welfare. At a time when most of the able-bodied adults on Medicaid aren’t working, work requirements are essential to successfully moving these individuals from welfare to work,” said Jonathan Ingram, FGA’s Vice President of Research. “Today’s ruling is nothing but an attempt to substitute the plaintiff’s and court’s judgement for that of the agency, something specifically prohibited by Supreme Court precedent. It must be reversed swiftly to give millions of Kentuckians the opportunity to lift themselves from dependency.”
The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is a non–profit, multi–state think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, and work reform. To learn more, visit TheFGA.org.