Stop Placing Degrading Requirements on Medicaid Recipients

Target: Richard Corcoran, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives

Goal: Don’t require Medicaid recipients to find work and pay a premium that they may not be able to afford.

The state of Florida currently has some of the most restrictive requirements in the country for Medicaid recipients. If state legislators have their way, these limitations will get stricter. The House of Representatives is currently considering a law to make most recipients pay a premium and force all able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work or risk losing their health care for a year. Given the tremendous burden already placed on Medicaid recipients, these new restrictions will only exclude more desperate citizens from getting the care they need, costing more taxpayer money and threatening human lives.

Since the Trump administration came into power, it has been encouraging governors to “empower” low-income Americans by restricting their right to public health care. One way to do this, according to Republican ideology, is to require that all physically-capable Medicaid recipients be working, training for a job or seeking employment. Able-bodied Medicaid recipients who aren’t working often are in school, caring for a family member or are simply unable to find a job. Taking away their health care won’t encourage them to get a job but will only leave them without the help they need in the event of an illness. In short, a work requirement for Medicaid recipients would not increase employment or save taxpayer money but only function to shame Medicaid recipients and reinforce negative stereotypes about those who receive welfare.

Requiring a payment of a $10 to $15 premium payment from most recipients is simply counterproductive. Floridian Medicaid recipients are required to be well below the poverty line before they are eligible for coverage. While a small premium may not sound like a lot to congressmen, the costs can be a huge burden for families living in the grip of destitution. By forcing recipients to pay, the law may prove counterproductive to Medicaid’s mission because families may compromise on making healthy choices, like skipping meals in order to meet the new cost of health care.

The new restrictions being considered in Florida would serve as a serious detriment to the health and well-being of the state’s poorest residents and would degrade Medicaid recipients and prevent those most in need from seeking care. Sign this petition to let the Speaker of the Florida House know that this legislation is unacceptable and inhumane.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Speaker Corcoran,

I am writing to express my disapproval on proposed Florida legislation that would require premium payments from Medicaid recipients and force able-bodied recipients to work in order to receive benefits. The majority of Medicaid recipients are children, elderly, disabled or pregnant, and the rest are actually employed.  What’s left are students, people caring for family members, and those who cannot find a job. Threatening their access to health care will not encourage them to work but will simply result in them losing another lifeline of crucial support.

The proposed restrictions would have little effect on encouraging people to work or saving taxpayer money but would take health care away from people who need it and reinforce negative stereotypes about welfare recipients. I urge you to reflect on the ramifications of the proposed restrictions on Medicaid recipients, and pass policies to make lives more prosperous, healthier and happier.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: ProgressOhio

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One Comment

  1. A very disheartening move by the government, which is working hard to make America into a totalitarian slave state.

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