Arkansas keeps showing how cruel & pointless Medicaid work requirements are, so naturally West Virginia wants in on that action

(sigh) via Joan Alker of the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute:

Last week, the state of Arkansas released its latest round of data on implementation of its Medicaid work reporting requirement – the first in the country to be implemented. As readers of SayAhhh! know, over 18,000 lost coverage in 2018 as a result of not complying with the new reporting rules. And the policy is clearly failing to achieve its purported goal – incentivizing work – with less than 1% of those subject to the new policy newly reporting work or community engagement activities.

Starting January 1, Arkansas is phasing in 19-29 year-old young adults to the new work reporting requirements. The clock has been reset at the beginning of the year and since there is a “three strikes you’re out policy” no one will be cut off until the end of March. Unfortunately, the state is not breaking down the data by age so it is hard to tell what is happening with the new young adult group. In any event, the number of Medicaid beneficiaries who now have one strike in January is very high – 8,895.

Once again: Medicaid work requirements are cruel, pointless, expensive to administer and so ineffective at their purported "force people to get off their duff" purpose (since most of those on Medicaid already work or attend school already, and those who don't are usually caring for sick relatives etc.) that there's no upside to including them...

...and yet GOP-run state after GOP-run state keeps chasing after them, even the ones in which regular Medicaid expansion has been working perfectly well for years, such as West Virginia:

House Finance just originated and advanced a bill that would establish work requirements for the state's Medicaid recipients. Bill goes to the full House for consideration.

— Lori Kersey (@LoriKerseyWV) February 20, 2019

West Virginia is pursuing changes to Medicaid that will end in massive disenrollment, poor health, and ultimately—because they violate the statute—litigation. Anyone who studies health policy or provides care should be speaking out against this. https://t.co/p8GfFfT0jy

— Philip Rocco (@PhilipRocco) February 21, 2019

The lesson for health policy advocates in West Virginia pushing back on Medicaid paperwork requirements is this get the effects out in the open, let folks know this is about punishing people w red tape and hiring consultants—not work, raise hell, and never shut up.

— Philip Rocco (@PhilipRocco) February 21, 2019