Townhall: Arkansas is debunking myths about welfare reform

Almost exactly one year ago, Arkansas became the first state to ever implement commonsense work requirements for able-bodied, working-age adults on Medicaid—and the far Left freaked out.

Since that time, they’ve proceeded to outright slander the state, falsely asserting that the requirement would leave the state worse off, hurt Arkansans, and was nothing more than a “reporting requirement” designed to confuse enrollees with paperwork rather than help them find a job. They’ve waged an all-out war on work, even using the courts to try to (temporarily) thwart the will of Arkansans, who overwhelmingly support the requirement—Republicans and Democrats alike.

They’ve gone all out for a few big reasons: they want as much dependency as possible. They think a life-long welfare check is better for Americans than a paycheck. And they also know that Medicaid work requirements are a signature achievement of President Trump’s first term.

If they can stop Arkansas, they think they can stop work requirements from spreading to other states, increase dependency, and deal a blow to President Trump at the same time. For the far Left, it’s a win-win-win.

But there’s bad news for them: from Day One, they’ve been wrong about Arkansas’ commonsense welfare reform, and a new study from the Foundation from Government Accountability proves it. Continue reading

National Review: The Biggest Welfare Crisis You’ve Never Heard Of

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Medicaid is out of control and unsustainable. Work requirements could help.

It’s not the lead story on the nightly news, and it’s not generating millions of clicks online. It may be one of the most underreported, underappreciated public-policy crises of our time. That’s a terrifying reality because, left unaddressed, this crisis will come at great cost to America’s most vulnerable.

The Medicaid program is at its breaking point. Even before Obamacare lured some states into expanding the program to non-disabled, working-age adults, Medicaid was growing at an alarming rate. Now, in the Obamacare era, the program is growing even faster, siphoning more and more resources away from folks who truly depend on Medicaid for survival.

A new report, released this week by the Foundation for Government Accountability, gives a glimpse of just how serious the problem is.

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NRO: Welfare Reform Can Flourish In the Post-Obama Era

wi-state-capitol-1-848x0-c-defaultAs the dust of the Obama administration continues to settle, a trend is growing across the country: State leaders are stepping up to tackle big problems in their welfare systems. Specifically, states are moving away from policies that promote long-term dependency and towards reforms that are pro-work and pro-independence.

As recently as two years ago, for example, 42 states had a policy of partially or fully waiving work requirements for non-disabled, childless adults on food stamps. Today, however, just seven states are waiving these work requirements entirely and many states with partial waivers are moving to eliminate them. Now one governor is pushing the envelope even further. Continue reading

Health Affairs: ACA’s Section 1332, Escape Hatch Or Straightjacket For Reform?

In state capitols across the country, health care lobbyists and consultants are pushing a relatively unknown provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA): Section 1332. According to some proponents, these waivers will “turbocharge state innovation” and will provide states with an “exit strategy” from the ACA. But is the hype true? Will Section 1332 waivers be as truly transformative to our health care system as suggested?

As policy practitioners who work daily with state policymakers around the country, we have seen proponents be overly dismissive—or perhaps even unaware—of the large practical and political challenges surrounding the implementation of these waivers. A serious, objective examination of the new Section 1332 federal guidance sparks far more questions than answers for policymakers. Continue reading

Townhall.com: Shocking Report Reveals Rampant Welfare Fraud in Arkansas

The Government Accountability Office routinely warns that states’ welfare programs are at high risk for waste, fraud, and abuse. A new report, released Wednesday by Arkansas’ Medicaid task force, brings these warnings to life.

The report highlights four key vulnerabilities in the state’s Medicaid program, a program originally designed to help truly vulnerable Arkansans. But it’s now clearer than ever that tens of thousands of other Arkansans – and even non-Arkansans – are benefiting immensely from the generosity of taxpayers, stealing limited resources from the truly needy.

Tens of thousands of Medicaid enrollees have out-of-state addresses.

According to the report, nearly 43,000 Arkansas Medicaid enrollees have addresses outside of the Natural State. Most of those addresses appear to be from neighboring states, none of which expanded Medicaid through ObamaCare as Arkansas did in 2014.

Rather than becoming a “good jobs magnet” as ObamaCare supporters had promised, the state is quickly turning into a Medicaid magnet – and not just for its neighbors.

In fact, several thousand Medicaid enrollees reside in states as far away as Florida, California, and Michigan. And nearly all of them had out-of-state addresses before they were authorized to receive Medicaid in Arkansas. Worse yet, the report identified 7,000 enrollees who appear to have never lived in the state.

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Forbes: AR’s Private Option Architect Hopes To Revive The State’s Failed Obamacare Medicaid Experiment

By Nic HortonJonathan Ingram and Josh Archambault.  Mr. Horton is a policy impact specialist, Mr. Ingram is research director, and Mr. Archambault a senior fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability.

Earlier this session, Arkansas lawmakers took an important first step in rolling back its disastrous Obamacare expansion. The legislature passed Act 46, which requires the Arkansas Department of Human Services to eliminate the Obamacare expansion by December 31, 2016. But a new bill proposed by one of the chief legislative architects of the failed Private Option experiment would reverse that progress and cement Obamacare into state law forever.

Days until the Private option is scheduled to end. 

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Forbes: Will The Real Mike Pence Please Stand Up?

By Nic Horton, Jonathan Ingram  and Josh Archambault  Mr. Horton is a Policy Impact Specialist, Mr. Ingram is Research Director, and Mr. Archambault a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability.

Over the last few weeks, various news reports have fueled speculation that Governor Mike Pence (R-Indiana) may be preparing to walk away from his Obamacare Medicaid expansion plan. This speculation was reignited over the weekend when Pence announced he would reject increased federal funding for the state’s pre-K program, citing the federal government’s “intrusion” as a key reason for his decision. Pence is demonstrating a prudent approach to pre-K funding, and this approach may very well tell us something about his next move on Obamacare expansion. Continue reading