WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the release of new guidelines by the Trump administration that would allow states to seek waivers to require Medicaid recipients to work:
“President Trump ended 2017 by giving the wealthiest Americans an enormous tax cut that will be paid for by low- and middle-income families, and is starting 2018 by continuing his attack on vulnerable populations. This time, the attack is adding unnecessary work requirements for Medicaid recipients.
The goal of Medicaid is to provide health care to low-income people who would otherwise not have access. Imposing a work requirement to be eligible for Medicaid not only fails to further the purpose of providing health care, but also undermines the underlying objective. Notably, among adults with Medicaid coverage, nearly 8 in 10 live in working families and a majority are working themselves. Adding a work requirement will only add additional bureaucracy and unnecessary administrative hurdles that will result in fewer people having health care.
The expansion of Medicaid resulted in significant numbers of African American, Latino and other people of color, people with disabilities and chronic conditions, and low-income people gaining access to affordable quality health care. We should be moving forward to increase access to health care, not backtracking. Waivers to Medicaid must promote the objectives of the program, and this proposal just doesn’t cut it. Whether through litigation or Congressional action, coverage should not be taken away from those who need it most.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.