Kentucky becomes 1st state in nation to require Medicaid recipients to work

January 30, 2018

Shortly after the waiver was announced that allows the state of Kentucky to implement a work requirement for Medicaid benefits, House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said: “The elderly, disabled, pregnant women will suffer from today’s draconian decree.”

However, she was not accurate.

The work requirement will apply to people like Tara Bassett, who is educated and worked full time until she was sidelined with severe depression. She already puts in 15 hours a week and picks up side jobs. As you watch her work, she appears able bodied.

“I am able bodied except for this little problem up here,” Tara gestures to her head, “called mental illness.”

She says without Medicaid, her prescriptions would cost her $900 per month, and she can’t make it without some help.

The work requirement is 80 hours per month. So, Tara, who is already picking up jobs on the side, is close to the minimum. She will need to document the hours and pay a premium between $1 and $15 per month.

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