Medicaid Work Requirement Bill Killed on Legislature’s Final Day
Written by jordanmckamey on February 28, 2019
Per the Casper Star-Tribune — nearly one week after voting narrowly to keep the bill alive, the Wyoming House of Representatives on Wednesday killed a proposal to implement work requirements for Medicaid that, according to the bill’s opponents, could have potentially cost nearly 2,000 Wyomingites their health insurance.
On Wednesday, 20 members of the House voted in favor of the bill, while 39 voted against it.
Senate File 144 would have saved the state roughly $5.6 million in Medicaid-related expenses by requiring certain able-bodied individuals on Medicaid to participate in 20 hours of any combination of work, school, job training, community service or some form of substance abuse rehabilitation per week to receive their benefits. Backers considered it to be a “compassionate” approach for moving able-bodied individuals off of public assistance and back into the workforce.
Despite several safety net provisions written in the bill to prevent the state’s most vulnerable Medicaid recipients from losing their insurance at a critical time, the measure had been subject to very little study or scrutiny before being introduced in the Legislature this winter – a fact that gave many who opposed the bill pause when similar efforts in states like Arkansas had backfired