National Review: Getting to Work in Maine

Welcom-to-MaineThe state of Maine has long been on the leading edge of welfare reform. Under Governor Paul LePage, it has reformed its food-stamp program by promoting work, resulting in former enrollees’ more than doubling their incomes the following year. Maine has also worked tirelessly to find and prosecute welfare fraud, going after those who steal limited resources from the people who most need help.

These efforts, combined with Maine’s rejection of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, have allowed the state to make the truly needy a priority. But Maine’s not slowing down. Continue reading

The Hill: Work requirements reduce dependency and increase incomes

income-going-up-ddpavumba-freedigitalphotos.net_.jpgExploding welfare enrollment is one of the largest challenges facing states today. Since 2000, the number of people dependent on Medicaid has more than doubled and the number of able-bodied adults on the program has nearly quadrupled. As a result, total Medicaid spending has skyrocketed, almost tripling from $206 billion in 2000 to nearly $600 billion today.

Even worse, Medicaid spending is now consuming nearly a third of state budgets, leaving fewer and fewer dollars to spend on education, infrastructure, and law enforcement. It’s clear that the current path is unsustainable; states need options to rein in spending, relieve taxpayers, and reserve resources for the truly needy. And the answer is work.

In 2011, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback instituted new sanctions in his state’s cash assistance program for able-bodied adults who refused to meet work requirements. But the Brownback administration didn’t just implement the reform and move on — they tracked the impact so they could see what happened to these individuals once they left welfare. Three key results should inspire policymakers in other states and in Washington D.C. to expand work requirements to able-bodied adults in as many programs as possible. Continue reading

The Hill: Ohio’s ObamaCare freeze could change the repeal debate

The Ohio senate did something historic this week. As part of its budget, it froze enrollment in the state’s exploding ObamaCare expansion, effective 2018. This move will not only protect Ohio’s truly needy, but will surely influence the ongoing debate over ObamaCare repeal in Washington D.C.

Ohio’s ObamaCare expansion has been hemorrhaging for some time. The Kasich administration promised enrollment in the program would never exceed 447,000 non-disabled, working-age adults. But, as of last month, enrollment has surpassed 725,000, showing no signs of stopping.

This enrollment surge has created a cost explosion as well. In fact, the latest data from the state indicate the program is nearly $7 billion over budget and that number is expected to climb to more than $8 billion by year’s end. Altogether, the program has cost nearly twice what was promised when implemented.

Ohio taxpayers really began to feel the pinch in January when ObamaCare’s “free ride” ended and the state started paying five percent of the expansion costs.
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Townhall: For States, ObamaCare’s Day of Reckoning Is Here

meaningful-use-of-obamacareIt’s officially 2017. A new year, full of new beginnings and opportunities. But for taxpayers and the truly vulnerable in ObamaCare expansion states, it’s the continuation (and acceleration) of a nightmare. As of January 1, states are on the hook for 5 percent of the expansion’s costs. And with more enrollees than states expected to ever enroll, this fiscal nightmare will be even worse than expected, putting taxpayers and the truly needy at even greater risk. Continue reading