Michigan Governor Seeks to Undo Medicaid Work Requirements

Commentary & Community

Michigan Governor Seeks to Undo Medicaid Work Requirements

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has only been on the job as Michigan’s governor for a month, but she’s already making a sharp break from her predecessor when it comes to Medicaid policy. Whitmer, a Democrat, is asking legislators to undo work requirements put in place under Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican. She faces an uphill battle to undo these Medicaid rules from the Republican-controlled legislature.


Under current Michigan law, individuals eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, must meet certain work requirements. These include engaging in work or work-related activities for 80 hours a month. Only those in the Medicaid expansion population – able-bodied adults without children who are between 18 and 62 – face this requirement. There are also exceptions for people who are unable to work.


Gov. Whitmer argues that 183,000 people could lose coverage if these rules go into effect in 2020. She is supporting changes that, she says, would still promote work but cut red tape. Legislative leaders, who supported these requirements when they were enacted, are unlikely to take moves that would undo this reform.


Under the Obama Administration, the federal government did not grant states waivers to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. The Trump Administration has reversed course, however, and is supporting state efforts in this area.


Do you think that able-bodied Medicaid recipients should have to work or enroll in job training in order to receive benefits?

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