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Growing Medicaid Enrollment & Increased Dependency?

The Washington Free Beacon's Ali Meyer reported today on a new study from the Foundation for Government Accountability, which says, "skyrocketing Medicaid enrollment (is) leading to increased government dependency." The Free Beacon said the "number of able-bodied adults on Medicaid has increased four-fold since 2000, (bu) only 16 percent of Medicaid enrollees work."

According to Meyer:

"A massive surge in Medicaid enrollment is leading to an increase in government dependency and crowding out funding for those vulnerable individuals who truly need the program, according to a report from the Foundation for Government Accountability.

"In 2000, there were 34 million Americans enrolled in the Medicaid program. Next year that number is projected to more than double to 75 million. Most of the growth in this program is due to an increasing number of able-bodied adults applying for the program. In 2000, there were fewer than 7 million able-bodied adults on Medicaid. Now that number has quadrupled to 28 million able-bodied adults on the program.

"The report attributes skyrocketing Medicaid enrollment over the last two decades to states increasing eligibility for able-bodied adults and Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, which added millions of able-bodied adults to the program.

"Unlike other welfare programs that have work requirements to stay in the program, the report says that Medicaid enrollees are not held to the same standard.

"Medicaid was designed as a safety net for the truly vulnerable—the elderly and individuals with disabilities," the foundation explains. "Because these groups were generally either not working age or had limited work capacity due to their disabilities, work requirements and time limits were never included in the Medicaid program. But over time, the program has grown to cover new groups, changing the fabric of the program and creating new challenges for policymakers and enrollees alike."

"The report finds that only 16 percent of those enrolled in Medicaid work full-time for the duration of the year. More than half—52 percent—do not work at all, and 32 percent of Medicaid enrollees work part-time or for part of the year.

"Despite the fact that Medicaid's able-bodied adults have no physical disabilities keeping them from pursuing gainful employment, very few actually work full-time jobs," the report states. "According to the Census Bureau, most non-disabled adults on Medicaid do not work at all."

"In some states, the percentage of those enrolled in Medicaid that are not holding a job are even higher. For example, in Nevada, 60 percent of Medicaid enrollees are not working. In New Hampshire, 58 percent are not working. And in Ohio, 57 percent are not working."

Meyer's article is worth reading in its entirety.

According to the April 5, 2017 Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s latest bid to expand Virginia’s Medicaid program died on a party-line vote in the House of Delegates on Wednesday."  However, based upon the results of last Tuesday's Virginia election results, look for Governor-elect Northam and Democrats in the General Assembly to make another go at expanding Medicaid in Virginia.

Growls readers concerned about the growing dependency on government are are encouraged to engage their members of Congress. Contact information is available at the Library of Congress' Congress.gov. Taxpayers living in Virginia's Arlington County can contact:

  • Senator Mark Warner (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-2023
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-4024
  • Representative Don Beyer (D) -- write to him or call (202) 225-4376

To write to your elected representatives in Richmond, see our November 7, Growls.

lAnd ask for a written response. And tell them ACTA sent you.

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