Sunday, March 15, 2015
And You Thought This State Cared About Low Income People -- Think Again!
If you thought that the state of Arizona cared about the poor, there are about 500,000 low-income Arizona residents that would disagree with you. Why? Because Governor Doug Ducey wants to limit health care benefits for the poor, which could affect up to half a million Arizona residents.
Money. The state wants to save money. Concerned about the Arizona health care budget, the Governor wants to propose a program that would prevent the budget from breaking. That proposal states that people on Medicaid who remain unemployed with no way to pay for health care benefits would be kicked off Medicaid after 5 years. This would make room for more funds available to "protect taxpayers and provide care to those who need it the most,” according to Governor Ducey.
The down side
If the proposal would be approved, the requirements would affect 213,000 adults and 253,500 children. Ducey's objective is to create a Medicaid coverage program that would eliminate abuse and help “responsible” people. Does that mean the 500,000 people who would be dropped from the program are irresponsible just because they don't have jobs?
The good news
Fortunately, Ducey's proposal will most likely meet with disapproval from the federal government, which has the authority to reject any state’s proposed changes to their Medicaid programs. The federal government feels that the unemployed are receiving Medicaid benefits because they are unemployed and they need these benefits. Good for the federal government!
Although most understand the need to keep health care costs down, Ducey may need to go back to the drawing board to find another solution for Arizona.
Read more at www.thinkprogress.org/health/2015/03/09/3631297/arizona-medicaid-reforms/