Medicaid Works: No Work Requirement Necessary
Several states have submitted proposals for Medicaid waivers to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that include work requirements. While work requirements are new to health programs, we have decades of experience with such requirements in other safety net programs, specifically cash assistance under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Ideas and language put forth by states in their Medicaid waivers are clearly drawn from these programs. We know from these programs that the main effect of work requirements is to discourage enrollment, with little effect on employment outcomes. These documents translate many of the lessons learned from TANF and SNAP to Medicaid.