Democrats want Medicaid work requirement waiver rescinded


COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio’s Democratic congressional delegation wants Republican Gov. John Kasich to rescind a proposal for imposing new work requirements on Medicaid expansion recipients.

U.S. Reps. Tim Ryan, Marcy Kaptur, Marcia Fudge and Joyce Beatty in a letter Thursday questioned “the very rationale” of a Medicaid waiver Ohio submitted to the federal government May 1.

It lays out details for imposing a work and community engagement requirement state lawmakers passed last summer. State officials said only about 36,000 Ohioans, or 5 percent of expansion enrollees, will need to find jobs to keep insurance under the proposal.

Congressional Democrats said the plan would create “needless administrative bureaucracy and red tape” that risks accidently kicking off people who “need and deserve” the program.

Kasich defends Ohio’s work requirements as reasonable.

He told reporters at a recent event in Michigan that they only apply to “really healthy” people who should be able to “give something back.” He said even volunteer activities may be able to count toward the requirement.

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