If You Are Poor And Sick, We’re Gonna Need You To Work For Medicaid

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If there was any doubt left that Florida has lost its mind, let me remove it for you. Florida lawmakers now want to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. The claim is that this new legislation would “encourage people to get back into the workforce.” It did not occur to them that Medicaid recipients are already in the workforce.

Listen, Republicans. Democrats do not believe that people should get everything for free. We do believe in hard work and the satisfaction of earning what we own. However, healthcare is a no-brainer. Humans do not deserve to die because they work low-paying jobs.

House Bill 7117 passed 81-34.  The provision for the work requirement has been summarized:

Medicaid recipients who are able to work would have to prove to the state that they are working, actively seeking work or enrolled in a job-training program. It wouldn’t apply to people with disabilities, the elderly and children, groups that make up the majority of Florida’s Medicaid enrollment. Failure to meet the requirement will result in a loss of coverage for a year.

This all seems cut and dried until the eligibility for Medicaid is put into perspective. For adults to be eligible, they must make less than $6,652 in annual income for a family of three. If a person can’t meet the work requirement for whatever reason, they will be cut off from Medicaid for a year. On of a budget of roughly $500 per month, these people will either just go without healthcare or they will be forced to go to emergency rooms. Those bills will go unpaid, costing the state money anyway. This was, in part, a component of our healthcare crisis before the ACA, people.

Let me give a personal example. I have severe Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. I physically could not work due to repeated surgeries to cut out diseased portions of my intestines, even though I tried like hell. If I was not having a surgery to fix my guts, I had to have minor surgeries to repair problems that arose from the major surgeries. I had to wait two YEARS and get a lawyer to get disability. For two years, my family of four relied upon my husband’s teacher salary. I was one of the lucky ones – I was insured under his employer coverage.

This is going to directly affect the people like me, and thousands of others, who really, truly cannot work but have not been declared “disabled” by an agency. People who do want to pay their medical bills, but can’t, are going to be forced to go even further into debt because some Republicans sequestered in a capitol building can’t see past the pompous noses on their faces.

This is just an attempt by House (pro-life “Christian”) Republicans to show those dirty liberals. They want to set an example – and we all know the vitriol. Why they keep targeting poor people who just want to see a damn doctor when they are sick is beyond all of us.

RELATED: No, You Can’t Call Yourself Pro-Life If You Cut Children’s Health Care

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