Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin Defends Forcing Sick Poor People To Work For Medicaid

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky defended his decision to create work requirements for sick poor people to access health care through Medicaid.

CNN notes: “Some 60% of working age, non-disabled Medicaid enrollees are working, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s about 15 million people. Plus, nearly eight in 10 recipients live in families with at least one worker.”

Bevin said on Fox News on Jan. 12 that it was “the right thing to do” because he grew up in poverty and didn’t have health care coverage until he joined the army.

Bevin added that is “soft bigotry” and “low expectations” to provide Medicaid for poor ill people without having them pay for it.

Bevin claimed that people get “dignity” from the “opportunity to do for themselves, to be engaged in their own health outcome is what ultimately leads to better health outcomes.”

Bevin failed to cite any source to prove that paying for health care leads to better outcomes, but said he was “utterly convinced” based on his own personal experience of not having health care.

The Commonwealth Fund found in 2016 that the U.S. has the “lowest life expectancy and some of the worst health outcomes” compared to countries that have government-funded universal health care.

Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D., said at the time:

Time and again, we see evidence that the amount of money we spend on health care in this country is not gaining us comparable health benefits. We have to look at the root causes of this disconnect and invest our health care dollars in ways that will allow us to live longer while enjoying better health and greater productivity.

Back at Fox News, host Trish Regan disparaged poor people receiving welfare, but not rich people who receive corporate welfare:

Part of the problem with welfare is that it becomes a bit of a trap. You know, you can’t go to work because you’re getting that much from the government. 

Then you just want more from the government. It’s that much harder to go to work. You think about say a single mom who makes a rational decision perhaps to stay home, because she may have more money coming in to her via the state, via the federal government, than if she were to actually go to work and have to pay for daycare and pay for gas et cetera, et cetera, and be aware from her kids. 

So it seems to me that there should be some kind of in between system, governor, where we’re doing what we can to help people to help themselves. And is this one way, via this Medicaid reform, a way of doing that? 

(Sources: The Commonwealth FundFox News via Media Matters, CNN, Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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