Small Business Applauds Passage of Medicaid Work Requirement

Date: April 19, 2018

NFIB in Michigan quotes jobs report, supporting efforts to move enrollees into jobs

LANSING (April 19, 2018)  – The state’s leading small business organization, NFIB, applauded the passage today of Senate Bill 897 that would require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to fulfill a work requirement to continue receiving benefits. Earlier this week, NFIB told a Senate Committee that there is no better time than now to move forward on a work requirement for participants in Michigan’s Medicaid program.

NFIB’s latest Jobs Report shows labor challenges remain a 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.”

Owens said that the legislation that Michigan passed in 2013 to expand Medicaid eligibility was intended to extend health care coverage to the working poor. “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,” said Owens.

Owens added 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,” said Owens.

Owens said that when NFIB small business members were 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.

The bill now moves to the state House for further action.

You can view the NFIB testimony before the Senate Michigan Competitiveness Committee HERE.

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