Ohio Senator Proposes Increase in Work Requirements for Medicaid Recipients

Feb 27, 2019

Ohio is among 15 states that have asked the federal government for permission to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. Ohio’s request would cover people up to age 50, but a state senator has proposed a bill that would go further.

A bill put forth by Republican Sen. Matt Huffman (R-Lima) would require 20 hours of work per week for Medicaid recipients between 18 and 65, except for the disabled and caregivers and those in rehab, college or job training. Huffman told a Senate committee that hundreds of thousands of Medicaid recipients aren’t working or looking for jobs, and he’s heard that able-bodied people have quit jobs they got just for the health insurance.

“There is a real disincentive for people to work," he said. "The government is in effect competing with employers for these workers by providing these benefits.”

Former Gov. John Kasich expanded Medicaid. His administration’s statistics show most in Medicaid expansion are working or exempt, and that enforcing work requirements could cost millions.