NFIB’s Michigan State Director, Charlie Owens testifies in support of a Medicaid work requirement.
LANSING, April 18, 2018 – The state’s leading small business organization, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), told a Senate Committee this week that there is no better time than now to move forward on a work requirement for participants in Michigan’s Medicaid program.
“As reported in NFIB’s latest Jobs Report, labor challenges remain as the top issue facing small business owners with 89 percent of those hiring or trying to hire reporting few or no qualified applicants and 19 percent reporting plans to raise compensation in response to the tight labor market,” said NFIB’s Michigan State Director, Charlie Owens. “A robust economy and record job openings provide an unprecedented opportunity to encourage our able-bodied Medicaid population to join the workforce and become an active participant in moving themselves and Michigan forward.”
The Senate Michigan Competitiveness Committee held their second hearing this week on Senate Bill 897, sponsored by Senator Mike Shirkey, that would require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to fulfill a work requirement to continue receiving benefits.
“The legislation that Michigan passed in 2013 to expand Medicaid eligibility was intended to extend health care coverage to the working poor, said Owens. “Since Medicaid expansion was designed for the working poor, it is not inconsistent or unusual to expect that a work requirement should be a part of the criteria for eligibility.”
Owens said that the proposed legislation includes exceptions to the work requirement for pregnancy, disability, or other extenuating circumstances. “Senate Bill 897 is common sense legislation that will help address the ongoing costs of Medicaid expansion while bringing more people into the work force at a time when more jobs are being created and wages are rising,” said Owens.
The bill was reported out of the committee and is now in the full Senate awaiting further action.
You can view the NFIB testimony before the Senate Michigan Competitiveness Committee HERE.