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Kicking You While You’re Down: 5 Facts You Need to Know About Medicaid & Why the Trump Administration’s New Proposal Would Hurt People

By January 11, 2018No Comments


The Trump administration announced that it would allow states to deny Medicaid coverage to some low-income adults if they are not working or have a work-related activity, a move that could affect as many as 22 million people, with the stated goal that it would incentivize people to find a job. The facts speak otherwise. The truth is: the vast majority of people with Medicaid coverage who can work, are working. This policy ignores the reality that many who want to work can’t find a job and kicks people while they are down: targeting people with chronic health conditions, families with a sick child or a parent who needs care, and in particular women. If the goal here is to help people find a job, how does taking away their health care do that? It doesn’t. It only makes it harder. Here are five facts you should know about Medicaid and why the Trump administration’s policy would hurt people.

FACT –  The vast majority of people with Medicaid coverage who can work, are working.

  • 60 percent of nondisabled people with health coverage through Medicaid have a job and are working, including 42 percent working full-time.
  • 51 percent of working adult Medicaid enrollees have full-time jobs year-round, but their salaries are still low enough to qualify for Medicaid coverage, or have Medicaid because their employers do not offer insurance.  
  • Nearly 80 percent of nondisabled people with Medicaid coverage live in a family where at least one person is working, including 64 percent working full-time. The other adult family member may not be working because they have caregiving or other responsibilities at home.
  • A state by state breakdown can be found HERE

FACT – About half of working adults on Medicaid work for a small business and industries that typically do not provide health coverage, like farming.

  • Nearly half of adults who work and have Medicaid coverage work at businesses with fewer than 100 employees, including 42 percent in businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
  • 40 percent of adults who work with Medicaid coverage work in the the agriculture and service industries.

FACT – The Trump administration’s policy would hurt people with chronic health conditions or taking care of a family member.

  • More than one-third (36 percent) of adults with Medicaid are not working because they are ill or disabled but do not qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • 30 percent of adults on Medicaid without a job report they are taking care of a sick loved one or parent. 15 percent were in school; 9 percent were retired; and only 6 percent could not find work.

FACT – The Trump administration’s work requirement policy would hurt women, particularly women of color.

  • Almost two-thirds, or 62 percent, of those who would lose their Medicaid coverage as a result of work requirements are women, and disproportionately women of color.
  • One reason is women are more likely to be the caregivers for other sick family members, including children, or their parents. And women are more likely to be in jobs that do not provide health coverage.

FACT – The Trump administration’s policy may make it harder for Medicaid enrollees to find a job.

Research from Ohio and Michigan has shown that expanding Medicaid coverage makes it easier to find a job and keep a job. This policy does nothing to help people find work, and it may actually have the opposite effect.