Kentucky’s Medicaid Cruelty

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

By: Daniel Nardini

In what I can only call a very cynical move, the President Trump administration is allowing the State of Kentucky to require that all “able-bodied” individuals in the state’s Medicaid program to work for keeping their medical care. The state will require that those individuals who are able to work” either be employed or finding employment. Under the new state’s guidelines such individuals must work a certain number of hours and may be forced to pay a certain amount of money depending on their income to keep receiving Medicaid. The Kentucky state government has stated that people must work at least 20 hours a week or do community service or must show that they are taking care of a disabled or elderly person to keep receiving their Medicaid. Those who do not meet any of these requirements will lose their Medicaid.

Kentucky state consumer groups as well as legal firms are threatening to sue the Kentucky state government since this puts an onerous burden on poor Kentucky state residents and may threaten their very lives for something they truly need. I hope that such lawsuits not only happen but come hard and heavy against this work requirement for Medicaid recipients in Kentucky. Truth be told, most people on Medicaid in Kentucky and elsewhere already work, and they are on Medicaid because they either have no company health insurance or are unable to obtain private health insurance. Many do not want to be on Medicaid, but Medicaid was created a long time ago to be a safety net for those who cannot afford any other kind of health insurance. What bothers me are these Republican fascists who now are imposing all kinds of ethically unsound and in fact draconian requirements against poor people who are seriously struggling everyday to live and make ends meet.

I find it doubly ironic that these Republican fascists can do such morally bankrupt things when they get the best medical care because they are politicians with the power of life and death over so many of the state’s poor and disenfranchised residents. Do these sick and demented state politicians really to worry about people who need Medicaid to obtain medications or need medical treatment to keep them alive and doing anything day in and day out? I doubt it. If these state politicians have a pain or even a hangover they do not even have to think twice about the medical care they will get. Kentucky’s working poor deserve better than this. So I hope that any legal action will block this form of work slavery.

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