LANSING, Mich., April 9, 2018—The state’s leading small-business organization, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), released the results of a survey of its small-business members that showed strong support for a work requirement for participants in Michigan’s Medicaid program.
The member survey was in response to recently introduced legislation, Senate Bill 897, sponsored by Sen. Mike Shirkey, that would require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to fulfill a work requirement to continue receiving benefits. The bill was the subject of a hearing in the Senate Competitiveness Committee just before the Legislature recessed for spring break.
When asked: “Should Michigan pass legislation that would require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to fulfill a work requirement to continue receiving benefits?” 90 percent of respondents said “YES,” 5 percent said “NO” and 5 percent were undecided.
“In 2013, Michigan passed legislation to expand Medicaid eligibility in return for federal funding under the Affordable Care Act. Since then, enrollment has surged beyond estimates and federal funding is expected to decline,” said Charles Owens, NFIB/Michigan state director. “Small-business owners believe that if Michigan’s taxpayers are going to be on the hook for the additional cost of the program then it is not too much to ask that those who can work, should work as a condition of receiving benefits.”
90 percent of small business respondents said “YES” to requiring able-bodied Medicaid recipients to fulfill a work requirement to receive benefits
Owens said that the most recent NFIB Small Business Jobs Report indicates that small business job-creation plans are at historic high levels in March and small-business owners are raising wages as the tight labor market continues. “At a time when businesses in Michigan are struggling to find workers, it is a ‘win-win’ policy to encourage those who can work to enter the job market and help fill the gap,” said Owens. “Requiring able-bodied Medicaid recipients to maintain a presence in the workforce will encourage a work ethic that will benefit them and employers in the long run.”
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 workforce at a time when more jobs are being created and wages are rising.”