Republican health care proposal puts state’s most vulnerable at risk

Republican lawmakers held a press conference March 12 to promote a bill to make Medicaid health care access contingent on work requirements. Republicans claim this proposal will boost the state’s workforce and curb government spending.

The problem is, more than two-thirds of Medicaid recipients, who do not have a disability, are already working. In reality, this proposal would likely result in the loss of affordable health coverage for tens of thousands of the state’s poorest individuals. This plan would be expensive to implement, increase Minnesota’s uninsured population, and escalate costly emergency visits.

Medical Assistance costs in Minnesota are on the rise, but the increases are primarily due to coverage for elderly Minnesotans and families with children. This plan does nothing to address the real rise in health care costs. We all share in the goal of helping people find meaningful work, but making heath care access contingent upon work requirements is not a good idea. This short-sighted proposal will set Minnesota back in our efforts to expand access to health care for the people who need it the most.