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The Latest Republican Plan to Take Health Care Away from Millions

By April 21, 2023No Comments

The GOP’s Debt Ceiling Package is their Most Extreme Threat to Health Care Since Their Failed Efforts to Repeal the Affordable Care Act

Burdensome Paperwork Requirements Would Rip Care Away from Lower-Wage Workers, Individuals with Disabilities, Pregnant and Postpartum Americans, and Caregivers and Burden Health Care Providers and States

The Republican plan to kick millions off Medicaid by adding burdensome work reporting requirements is their most extreme plan yet. Their plan isn’t about connecting people to jobs (research shows that Medicaid enrollees are better able to look for work and perform better at work than when they were uninsured); it’s a ploy to take away health care from millions and cut a vital social safety net they have trying to slash for years. 

  • The GOP Plan Requires Over 10 million People with Disabilities to Provide a Doctor’s Note to Keep Their Health Care. The GOP plan stigmatizes people with disabilities, requiring them to seek a determination from their health care provider that they are “physically or mentally unfit for employment” in order to qualify for an exemption from work requirements. There are more than 10 million people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid. That’s over 10 million doctors’ notes every year, putting further administrative burdens on their practices at a time when health care providers are already experiencing record burnout on the heels of a pandemic.
  • The GOP Plan Rips Health Care Away From Caregivers. The GOP plan would end Medicaid coverage for caregivers of adults with disabilities or chronic or temporary illnesses. For example, if an adult child needed to leave the workforce to care for an ill parent, they would lose health coverage. Additionally, the GOP plan subjects adult caregivers of children or caregivers of people who are incapacitated to burdensome reporting requirements. 
  • The GOP Plan Ends Health Care For Parents Who Suffer Pregnancy Loss, Whose Child Dies, or Who Place Their Child for Adoption. Horrifically, the GOP plan would end Medicaid coverage for people when they experience pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or the death of a child, or place their child for adoption. The GOP plan also expects pregnant and postpartum people to submit paperwork to prove they are eligible for an exemption. Parents preparing to welcome a new baby and parents caring for a new baby should not be subject to even more burdensome paperwork.
  • The GOP Plans Takes Coverage Away from Lower-Wage Workers. Most families (about two-thirds) who count on Medicaid include people who work full-time. People who work hard at low-wage jobs often don’t have health insurance through work so they count on Medicaid. Under the GOP plan, these adults, many of whom juggle multiple lower-wage jobs, would be required to regularly submit burdensome paperwork or they would lose their health coverage.

The GOP plan is extreme and burdensome to health care providers and states: 

  • The GOP Plan Burdens Health Care Providers.  The GOP’s exemption for people with disabilities places an extreme and unethical burden on health care providers and the health care system. As written, the over 10 million people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid must be certified by their doctors or medical professionals as “physically or mentally unfit for employment.” If a medical professional is unwilling or unable to certify that a patient is entirely incapable of doing any work at all, they will lose their health insurance. A 2008 pilot program in West Virginia, imposed similar certification requirements on health care providers and prompted serious concern that these requirements violated medical ethics and could force doctors to violate their professional oaths. 
  • The GOP Plan Will Burden States. States are currently undertaking an unprecedented redeterminations process following the end of the public health emergency eligibility protections. Instead of supporting states in this process, the GOP plan mandates that states shift resources toward administering burdensome paperwork requirements or lose federal Medicaid funding. If states can’t prove their Medicaid programs are not covering non-working people, states would lose their federal Medicaid funding. Adding work reporting requirements to their administrative responsibilities would be disastrous – they have limited resources that would be better spent ensuring people have coverage. 
  • The GOP Plan is Their Most Extreme Plan Yet. Medicaid work requirements were a complete failure when tried in Arkansas, resulting in 18,000 people losing coverage in just 7 months, and the McCarthy plan is even more extreme. The McCarthy plan applies to every nonelderly adult enrolled in Medicaid, not just the expansion population as it did in Arkansas. The McCarthy plan includes people ages 50-55, who more commonly experience involuntary job separation that leads to long-term unemployment. The McCarthy plan does not exempt postpartum women, while the Arkansas plan exempted women in the first 60 days postpartum. The McCarthy plan also does not exempt people receiving unemployment benefits, as the Arkansas plan did.