After fighting for 5 long years, in 2017 we were finally able to pass Medicaid expansion in Virginia! We made sure that more than 400,000 Virginians are able to see a doctor when they are sick without worrying about the bill that would come afterward. It was kind of a big deal.
But (there’s always a but, isn’t there?) in order to get Republicans to vote for expansion, we had to include work requirements in the final bill. That means that in order to qualify for benefits, people have to work a certain number of hours per month or fall into one of several categories of exemptions. This requirement meant that Republicans would vote for the bill, but it also meant potentially kicking off 74,000 people who would have otherwise qualified for benefits.
Work requirements are b*llsh*t because the vast majority of people who receive benefits (like 80%) are either already working or live in a household where at least one person works. Plus, they are hella expensive. All the bureaucratic red tape of filling out paperwork and checking up on people to see if they are actually working costs taxpayers $25.5 million dollars! That’s crazy for something we don’t even need or want anyway. So much for that conservative “fiscal responsibility.”
But now, we have a majority in the House of Delegates and the State Senate, and we don’t need Republicans to support us in order to repeal work requirements for Medicaid.
So we can get rid of these punitive barriers to access insurance coverage, save taxpayer money, and make sure even more people get access to health care. That’s what I call a win-win-win.
All we have to do is call our legislators and tell them to support the budget amendment that repeals these dumb work requirements in the first place. So what are you waiting for?