Washington, DC – The Florida House of Representatives is set to vote on HB 995 this week, which would impose some of the harshest work requirements on Medicaid recipients anywhere in the United States–putting over 100,000 Floridians at risk of losing their coverage. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:

“Florida Republicans ought to be ashamed of themselves with their latest move to gut Medicaid by instituting brutal so-called ‘work requirements’ on people who so desperately need access to health care. Make no mistake, this is just another Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis inspired effort to sabotage our health care system and kick people off the Medicaid rolls. Even after similar work requirement laws were recently struck down in Arkansas and Kentucky, Republicans in Florida–goaded by President Trump–are more determined than ever to enact these draconian laws, putting in harm’s way the health care of over 100,000 Floridians.”   

Background:

By Refusing To Expand Medicaid, Florida Is Preventing 1,596,000 Floridians From Gaining Coverage. By not fully expanding Medicaid, Florida has restricted its Medicaid program such that only parents earning up to 32 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible to enroll in Medicaid. If Florida expanded its program, 1,596,000 more adults could gain coverage through Medicaid.

More Than 100,000 Low-Income Parents Could Lose Coverage Under Florida Medicaid Work Requirement Bill. As WJCT reports, “More than 100,000 low-income parents could lose health care coverage under a Medicaid work-requirement bill being considered in the Florida Legislature, experts estimate. Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families based its Florida prediction on the impact of similar policies in other states that resulted in roughly 20 percent of Medicaid participants losing coverage. The state estimates that about 500,000 Floridians would fall under the work-requirement rule being debated. And unlike other states, the bill being considered by the Florida House would not make exceptions for parents.”

Restricting Access To Medicaid For Adults Reduces Children’s Coverage. Republican efforts to shrink Medicaid enrollment will harm families. Research tells us that children’s coverage depends in part on their parents’: “When parents lose coverage, children are at greater risk of becoming uninsured, even if they remain eligible for Medicaid and CHIP.”