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Bill requires people to go to work and school for Medicaid

(WILX)
Published: Apr. 18, 2018 at 6:54 PM EDT
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Do you have Medicaid?

If so, a new Michigan bill could force you to work or go to school.The bill requires able-bodied adults on Medicaid to work or go to school for at least 29 hours a week. Now the Michigan league for public policy says that's great in theory but what about people who aren't healthy enough to do that.

"Work has never been used as an eligibility category in determining Medicaid and that Medicaid work requirements kind of go against why it was created," said Emily Schwartzkopf.

The bill says the 29 hours of work, job training, or education will only apply to "able-bodied" people.

Emily Schwartzkopf of the Michigan league for public policy says there are a lot more factors that need to be considered than just being able-bodied before the state takes away someone's health insurance.

"They may face a number of barriers in terms of getting employment or in terms of transportation or child care," said Schwartzkopf.

Senator Mike Shirkey of Jackson County sponsored the bill.

He says there are too many businesses in need of workers and this bill will help people get back into the workforce.

"One of the most important things a person can do for their families health is work and so this is a modest requirement," said Shirkey.

Opponents say this will only punish people who aren't capable of working, just because the state considers them able-bodied.

"People on Medicaid are already working and the people that aren't working typically suffer from chronic health issues, along with mental health problems," said Schwartzkopf.

The bill was approved by a Senate committee today. The bill heads to the full Senate and will be voted on tomorrow.