MICHIGAN: Godawful "God's Safety Net" bill passes state Senate, CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE NOW!

2019 OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS (most states)

Time: D H M S

(sigh) Dammit, sure enough, as I expected, the full Michigan state Senate has gone ahead and passed the state Senator Mike Shirkey's "God's Safety Net" bill which would impose 29-hour-plus work requirements on 680,000 low-income Medicaid enrollees even though the vast majority of them already work, go to school, are medically fragile, take care of other medical fragile family members, elderly relatives or children and so forth. It was, as you'd expect, a party-line vote:

Able-bodied Medicaid recipients in Michigan may soon have to choose between finding a job or losing health insurance.

...Democrats condemned the proposal as harmful to thousands of Medicaid recipients who would not meet the several exemptions spelled out in SB 897 and said such a move is also illegal. Majority Republicans brushed aside those objections, and the bill passed 26-11.

The bill now heads to the House.

More than 2 million Michigan residents use Medicaid, with more than 683,700 of those being enrolled in the Medicaid expansion program known as the Healthy Michigan Plan. Able-bodied nonpregnant adults without a disability between the ages of 19 and 64 would need to meet work requirements under the bill.

Among those exempted are caretakers, pregnant, disabled, medically frail and the recently released from jail or prison.

Under the bill Medicaid recipients would have to meet a work requirement of 29 hours per week.

The effective date of the bill was set at Oct. 1, 2019 to provide the state more time to obtain a federal waiver.

Democrats proposed eight amendments, intended to add exemptions for individuals such as caretakers of a child under age 13, veterans, seasonal employees, caretakers of the elderly medically frail and even lawmakers' own coverage. All failed, as did amendments moving the 29 hours per week requirement to 20 hours per week and for a cost-benefit analysis.

In January the federal government issued guidelines allowing for the implementation of work requirements in Medicaid as a condition of eligibility. The guidelines are a departure, as the program has existed for more than 50 years without ever allowing such requirements.

Please visit the Action Network website to contact your state Representative to urge them to vote NO on work requirements for Medicaid. The Moms Rising website also has helpful action items.