To Get Medicaid in Kentucky, Many Will Have to Work. Advocates for the Poor Are Horrified.
“We have the jobs, we have the tuition resources, we have the job coaches in our career
centers all across the state,” he said, “and now we’ll be able to connect the dots.”
Other state officials said the state was building an IT system to track people’s compliance with the work and premium requirements and participation in activities, like taking the financial literacy course,
that would earn them points toward dental and vision care.
But Mr. Bevin couched the policy change as a moral rather than a fiscal decision, saying he did not care about the savings and saw it as an opportunity for Kentucky’s poor “not to be put into a dead-end entitlement trap
but rather to be given a path forward and upward so they can do for themselves.”
Advocates for Medicaid beneficiaries said they disagreed with the Trump administration’s assertion, in approving Kentucky’s plan,
that work requirements were consistent with the goals of Medicaid because work could improve people’s health.
“They’ll be looking to advocates and enrollment assisters and their providers for answers, and at this point we don’t have any.”
She added, “The idea that we are encouraging work and independence, then taking away the health care
that makes people more employable and better able to function — none of this adds up to something that’s going to be good for Kentuckians or our economy.”
But Hal Heiner, Kentucky’s Education and Workforce Development secretary, said during Mr. Bevin’s news conference
that there was “an abundance of jobs” available to Medicaid recipients, as well as resources to prepare them.