Gaetz: The Poor Should Have To Work To Get Medicaid

Semafor reports:

Rep. Matt Gaetz is trying to convince his fellow Republicans to demand new work requirements for Medicaid as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling. He tells Semafor that he’s now “socializing” the concept among colleagues, including Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Aside from being a sure nonstarter with Democrats, targeting Medicaid carries political risks. It’s a colossal program currently covering roughly 84 million Americans, many of them elderly and children in lower-income households.

In Arkansas, where new work rules went into effect for almost a year before being blocked in federal court, about 18,000 people lost their coverage, including many who should have still been eligible but simply appeared to get tripped up by the new paperwork. Many enrollees didn’t even know about the new rules. A study in Health Affairs later found that, for those affected, “work requirements did not increase employment” after 18 months.

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Gaetz claims his proposed change would only apply to “able-bodied adults.” In a related Gaetz note, rumors have floated on Twitter that Gaetz is planning to run for Florida governor. Florida has a “resign to run” law for state officials who seek federal office, but the GOP-dominated state legislature is poised to overturn the law to keep DeSantis in office should he announce a presidential bid.