On Wednesday, Wisconsin submits a federal request to become the first state to drug test Medicaid recipients. Governor Scott Walker spoke with the New York Times. He said he is very hopeful the Trump administration will approve the waiver. The waiver also adds on requirements for childless, able-bodied adults who are receiving benefits from Medicaid. Some of these people could be referred to as “free-loaders.”
After receiving more than 1,000 comments of feedback, Walker has modified the proposal. In a few ways he softened the proposal. For instance, if someone is unable to pass the initial drug test, they will still be allowed to apply if they agree to enter a substance abuse program. Additionally if someone refuses treatment when they apply, they will be allowed to go back and reapply when they are ready.
Some people have opposed this waiver request in a big way. They see these drug abusers are very vulnerable people and it is just creating another hurdle for them.
The childless, able-bodied people in Wisconsin make up 148,000 of the 1.2 million people who are currently in the state’s primary Medicaid program. It also limits these people to only four years of Medicaid benefits, if they are not meeting work requirements. In order to get benefits to resume, they need to work or search for a job at least 80 hours a week.
Government is taking action to stop the handouts and get people working. That appears to be the main goal of this federal request. While many others view it as an attack on the most vulnerable, it still gives those people a very adequate chance to receive benefits while they get things in order.
What do you think about the request? Do you think it is fair or foul? Let us know what you think in the comments on Facebook.