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Medicaid work requirements

New Report Calls for Medicaid Work Requirements to Reduce Dependency

Naples, FL – A new paper released today by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) finds that the surge in Medicaid enrollment and spending has led to an increase in government dependency that threatens the truly needy and consumes states’ budgets. The report calls for work requirements for able-bodied adults as an effective solution to restore the Medicaid program for the truly needy and end government dependency.

The paper, authored by FGA’s Vice President of Research Jonathan Ingram and Research Director Nic Horton, examines the massive surge in Medicaid enrollment over the past decade and the implications that ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid to able-bodied individuals has had on the program.

The paper identifies work requirements—similar to those in place for other welfare programs such as food stamps and cash assistance—as an effective way to reduce caseloads, increase the incomes of individuals in welfare, and reduce government dependency.

The report found that:

  • 52 percent of non-disabled adults on Medicaid do not work at all.
  • Since 2000, Medicaid enrollment has more than doubled, with the number of able-bodied adults more than quadrupling.
  • In the past year, taxpayers spent more than $632 billion on Medicaid, more than triple the $206 billion spent in 2000. Enrollment, including the expansion of ObamaCare, made up for 70 percent of the spending increase.
  • In 2000, Medicaid was 19.5 percent of state budgets—today, it is 30 percent. Nearly one in every three dollars goes to Medicaid.

“FGA’s past research has shown that the most effective way to free people from the trap of dependency is through work—and Medicaid should be no exception. Since 2000, the number of people enrolled in Medicaid has more than doubled. Total Medicaid spending has nearly tripled since 2000 and spending on able-bodied adults has increased by an astonishing 700 percent. Not only is this unsustainable, but it’s limiting our ability to help the truly needy,” said Horton.

“We know work requirements work. We’ve seen them work in Kansas, and Maine, and in states across the nation. When able-bodied adults gain their independence through work, their incomes skyrocket and they’re able to free themselves from government dependence. It’s past time for the federal government to empower states to enact Medicaid work requirements,” said Ingram.

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


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