The federal government has approved the state of Arizona’s waiver to require some Medicaid (AHCCCS) patients to work in order to get health insurance. Currently, 65% of of AHCCCS patients already work. They are on AHCCCS because their employers don’t offer medical benefits and/or because they aren’t paid enough. This waiver would require some AHCCCS patients to do at least 80 hours of work, school or volunteerism in order to continue to receive health insurance. Why if there are no jobs in your area? This could disproportionately hurt rural Arizonans.
The only state that has this work system for Medicaid is Arkansas. According to NPR, they have knocked 20% of their enrollees off of Medicaid by instituting work requirements. Denying access to affordable care is bad for parents and bad for our state.
In 2017, Republicans passed the second year of stingy TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). The drafters said as much as 30% of Arizonans could be knocked off TANF because of the additional regulations and increased bureaucracy.
We don’t need laws that are designed to hurt people who are poor or sick. We should be helping people become productive citizens— instead of casting them aside as if they are not worthy.