Donald Trump has been pushing hard for new work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Because of his policy, Arkansas just kicked over 4,000 low-income people off of Medicaid.
On Wednesday, BuzzFeed reported that more than 4,000 people have been thrown off of Medicaid in Arkansas because of new work requirements.
This is a policy that has been championed by Donald Trump. And now, the real life consequences are that thousands of poor Arkansas Medicaid recipients are left without healthcare coverage.
“According to data provided by the state, Arkansas removed 4,353 people from its Medicaid rolls at the beginning of September for failing to meet new conditions of spending at least 80 hours per month working or performing other activities like school, volunteering, or actively searching for work. Another 11,000 are on pace to lose their health insurance over the next two months.”
The Trump administration argues that the work requirements will encourage more low-income people to get jobs. And they completely reject the idea that the new rules will block thousands of poor people from having access to healthcare.
But the Trump administration is wrong.
The new data coming out of Arkansas shows us a stunning reality. “For every one new person working, volunteering, or training, almost 50 people lost their health insurance.”
Barack Obama and the Democrats expanded Medicaid for millions of people across the country. Trump is now doing his best to reverse those advances.
“Under the Arkansas Works program, if someone fails to hit the requirements for three consecutive months, they are removed from Medicaid rolls and cannot reenter for the rest of the year, even if they start meeting the criteria.
“The rules were implemented in tiers, and the 4,353 people stripped of Medicaid in September represent the first cohort. Another 5,076 people have been in noncompliance for two months and can lose Medicaid in October. Another 6,174 people are on pace to lose coverage in November.”
State officials said that they tried to reach all Medicaid recipients who were in danger of losing their coverage. But the state didn’t make it easy for people to file their paperwork for the new requirements.
The state only allowed people to file their work activity online. But Arkansas has some of the lowest rates of internet access in the country. Because of that, the filing portal was shut down for 12 hours every day.
““Personal responsibility is important. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure those who qualify for the program keep their coverage, but it is equally important that we make sure those who no longer qualify are removed,” said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson in a written statement.”