When Medicaid was created in the mid-1960s, it was intended to provide medical care for people who truly had nowhere else to turn—namely, individuals with disabilities and the elderly. But over time, the program has ballooned, now serving 76 million people.
Even worse, nearly 40% of enrollees are now able-bodied adults. There are close to twice as many able-bodied adults in Medicaid today as there are elderly and individuals with disabilities combined.
Medicaid’s rapid growth is no secret, and it’s cause for concern across the country. Those who work with state policymakers see it firsthand—state leaders realize how consuming Medicaid has become. From Maine to Montana, the overwhelming growth of the program is often at the top of their minds.
That’s because it quite literally dictates state budgets: Medicaid gets paid first. Everything else (including education, infrastructure, and public safety) gets the scraps. Continue reading
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
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.
As 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
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
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.
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.
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
Fall in Arkansas.
After spending the better part of the last 5 years blogging daily on Arkansas politics, I quit cold turkey in August when I began my new gig with the Foundation for Government Accountability. I was starting to miss it, so I fired up my internet machine today and decided I’d start again. Continue reading