Health Insurance: It’s Not Like Welfare

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I genuinely have no idea what the Corbett people are trying to get at with this job search thing. It doesn’t make any sense:

Corbett wants to add some strings and at least one penalty β€” in the form of healthy lifestyles, work requirements and job searches β€” for some current and newly eligible Medicaid recipients to keep their coverage or pay reduced premiums.

The federal government historically has forbidden such requirements to qualify for Medicaid. But the administration is hopeful the federal government will approve Corbett’s plan, given the positive response it has gotten from many residents, Public Welfare Secretary Bev Mackereth said.

“We are seeing a lot of people are supporting it, including the work piece,” she said. “We were not sure how that would be received.”

The federal government already requires job requirements for other entitlement programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, said Todd Shamash, Corbett’s deputy chief of staff. Why not Medicaid, too? he asked.

Why not Medicaid too!

Because most of the people on Medicaid..have jobs. The jobs just don’t pay enough money to make them ineligible for public insurance coverage. I think it sucks there are jobs with crap pay like that and it’s why I support hiking the minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour.

But if we don’t do that, a lot of crappily paid jobs will continue to exist. Someone will have to do them. And they’ll qualify for Medicaid.

Relatedly, other people will continue to be unemployed, as Congressional Republicans and inflation hawks on the Federal Reserve have rejected full employment as a policy goal. Some people will have to be unemployed then. And they’ll qualify for Medicaid. That’s just how it is.

Making poor people jump over 12 different job search hurdles just to get health insurance won’t do anything to change that. The jobs aren’t there.

(Via Steve Esack)

This entry was posted in Economy, Governor, Health.

3 Responses to Health Insurance: It’s Not Like Welfare

  1. Pingback: #PAGov: How the Corbett Medicaid Waiver Gambit Impacts the Democratic Primary - Keystone Politics

  2. Mary Shratter says:

    Ditto. This job search requirement is too punitive to linked to a health care policy.

  3. I wonder how “Corbettcare” would work for people in the realm of Mental Health. What some people don’t know, is people with Medicaid already have private insurance plans – at least those in my county do. What they don’t have is a monthly premium of any sort, except for those in a very narrow income range who get to buy in to Medicaid – typically people with SSDI or SSI who also work part time.

    Anyhow, there are numerous Mental Health services that don’t get billed to traditional health insurance – they have to go through Medicaid. In most counties, that’s via your local Managed Care Organization who has an exclusive contract with the county.

    Regular health insurance, by itself, doesn’t pay for case management, psychiatric rehabilitation, occupational/vocational rehabilitation, and many other services. I guess I’ll give a call to OMHSAS on Monday, especially if we’re iced in, and see what they know about Corbettcare.

    In regards to minimum wage, I also totally support a significant increase. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that human services funding in many areas would have to increase as a result. While many human services workers make $10/hour or more now, there are plenty who don’t. They typically work in places like group homes, personal care, and nursing homes. If you raise the minimum, Medicaid reimbursements to those services would have to increase proportionally, or you’d see residential programs for those with mental health challenges, intellectual disabilities, and the elderly start shutting down as they’d have to literally operate at a loss. Your typical mental health group home worker in rural PA only makes $8-$9/hour. Case managers only make $15/hour.