Griffith Introduces Medicaid Individual Responsibility Bill

Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) introduced a bill that would allow states to implement work requirements for adults who are able to work in order to receive Medicaid.  There are exemptions included for those who are disabled, pregnant, or elderly.  There are also exemptions for those taking care of young or disabled children.  The bill leaves the specifics of the work requirements and the ability to administer the program to the states. 

Several states have previously requested the ability to implement work requirements; however under the previous administration all requests were rejected.

Congressman Griffith said, “Medicaid is a safety net for those who need help, but it was never intended to be a long term benefit for abled bodied adults who choose not to work. For those that can’t find jobs, training programs, education, and job search assistance can be provided to help them meet the work requirement. This will allow recipients to move into a situation where they can better support themselves and their family so they no longer need the safety net of Medicaid.”

“Giving the states the option of utilizing work requirements allows states to use Medicaid funding to help folks take advantage of job training and secure jobs.  In addition, giving this ability to the states prevents the federal government from pushing a one size fits all solution and instead gives states flexibility to best utilize their funding and help those in need.”


In the bill, work is defined as the following:

(1) unsubsidized employment;

(2) subsidized private sector employment;

(3) subsidized public sector employment;

(4) work experience (including work associated with the refurbishing of publicly assisted housing) if sufficient private sector employment is not available;

(5) on-the-job training;

(6) job search and job readiness assistance;

(7) community service programs;

(8) vocational educational training (not to exceed 12 months with respect to any individual);

(9) job skills training directly related to employment;

(10) education directly related to employment, in the case of a recipient who has not received a high school diploma or a certificate of high school equivalency;

(11) satisfactory attendance at secondary school or in a course of study leading to a certificate of general equivalence, in the case of a recipient who has not completed secondary school or received such a certificate; and

(12) the provision of child care services to an individual who is participating in a community service program.

Exemptions in the bill, in addition to the nonelderly, nondisabled, nonpregnant, include the following:

1) a single parent or caretaker of a child who is under 6 or is disabled

2) an individual who is married and under 20 and still in secondary school (or equivalent) or in an educational program directly related to employment

3) through the end of the month of the 60 day period (beginning on last day of pregnancy) for a woman who was eligible during her pregnancy.

The text of the bill can be found here.



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