March 18, 2019 | By Tom Howell, Jr.
The White House’s new budget envisions cutting hundreds of thousands of people from Medicaid’s rolls by asking them to get a job.
President Trump is eyeing similar pushes for those on food stamps and those receiving federal housing assistance, saying asking able-bodied people to try to find work is good not only for taxpayers but also as a way to lift people out of poverty.
Medicaid alone stands to save $130 billion over the next decade if Congress enacts Mr. Trump’s work proposal, the White House predicts in its fiscal 2020 budget. . . .
Budget writers will fill in details in the coming days, though the new rules generally would apply to those ages 18 to 64. The rules would include “hardship” exemptions for those who are unable to comply.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said, based on the $130 billion savings, the administration would have to cut at least 1.7 million people from its rolls each year, beginning in 2021.
Republicans generally support work requirements, saying they improve standards of living by enticing people off the government dole….
In addition to Medicaid, the budget outline released Monday says those receiving rental assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development would have to work or receive job training for at least 20 hours per week.
It also says states must use 30 percent of their funding for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) — a welfare program that already requires participants to seek work — on education and job training.
Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said childless adults age 18 to 49 who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or food stamps, already must work 20 hours per week, though the latest proposal appears to extend the requirement to adults up to age 64.
“So basically what you’re talking about is raising the age and including parents,” she said.
Mr. Trump’s earlier experiment — allowing states to ask for federal waivers to test work requirements on their own Medicaid populations — got mixed results. . . .
At the White House, Mr. Vought said the administration would try to ease the transition to work requirements. He said the Labor Department has enough money to fund help people who would be subject to the requirements and need help in landing a job.
“There will be many, many workforce development programs that are funded as part of this budget,” he said.
(Excerpted from The Washington Times, Tom Howell, Jr. reporting.)