The Trump administration announced Thursday that they've come up with a new way to make life even more difficult for poor people: allowing states to impose work requirements on "able-bodied" Medicaid recipients.
This is a very bad idea. Medicaid covers over 70 million otherwise uninsured people, or about one in five Americans, and the majority of them are children, the elderly, and sick or disabled people. Millions of other recipients—who unlike Trump, didn't grow up with silver spoons in their ass—are either underemployed or unemployed. Thus, the need for Medicaid, YOU PRESIDENTIAL FUCKING DOLT.
Perhaps the reason for the proposed change is because Medicaid can be a literal life-saver after catastrophic events like being laid off, and Trump and this fellow plutocrats would rather do anyway with poor people altogether (there goes his base). Medicaid recipients may be stereotyped as lazy do-nothings lighting their Pall Malls off their welfare checks, but nearly 60 percent of able-bodied adults on Medicaid already have jobs, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and who is to say the ones who don't have jobs aren't trying to get them?
When I was laid off two days after Trump was sworn into office last year, the first thing I did was sign up for Medicaid. This was a huge mental and financial relief from the stress of being unemployed, and it allowed me to spend a couple of months looking for work without having to worry about going broke if I got hit by a bus or some cancer cropped up. Shitty people like Trump and his buddies seem to think Medicaid keeps people from working, which is ridiculous because when your monthly income goes over the poverty level, they kick your ass off the rolls. In Washington state, the most an individual can make before getting booted off is $1,386 a month—or less than the rent on a studio apartment in Seattle. No one is getting rich off Medicaid, and as Vox points out, research shows that when you take away health care from people, they are actually less likely to work, not more.
But of course, Trump is too busy hiding his scalp and running his shithole to care about facts. Trump’s decision can be reversed by a future administration, however, so we just have to survive the next three years, if that.
Luckily, Washington tends to be slightly less cruel than other states, at least when it comes to health care, and at this time has no plans to implement a work requirement.
“Our focus in Washington’s Medicaid program is promoting the health and well-being of our state residents and communities, and the majority of Apple Health clients do work,” said HCA Director Sue Birch in a statement. “We do not want to pursue a strategy that could take away health care from people. What we are doing is providing targeted supports that will help qualified Apple Health clients to maintain housing and jobs—and ultimately self-sufficiency.”