In January, the Trump administration announced it would approve Medicaid waivers that link eligibility for health coverage to a requirement that “able-bodied” individuals work. Three states have approved waivers to date, and over a half-dozen others have expressed interest. This debate will be arguing the resolution, “People Who Can, Should Work For Their Medicaid.”

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Work requirements have a long history in the United States. They were incorporated in cash welfare programs under waivers in many states in the 1980s, and then nationwide under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. More recently, Republicans in Congress have renewed interest in work requirements across a number of programs. Advocates and critics disagree about whether such requirements are effective in motivating families to pursue a true path to independence, or instead if they only add a burden to disadvantaged people trying to make ends meet.

This Debate Features:

  • For the Motion: John McCarthy, former Ohio director of Medicaid
  • Against the Motion: Vikki Wachino, former US director of Medicaid
  • Moderator: Erin Billups, health reporter for Spectrum News. NY1