New Medicaid Changes Harm Students, Hinder Economic Mobility

Attaining a postsecondary education can greatly increase success in today’s labor market. But it is often out of reach for students from low-income families, who often receive little or no financial family support for school and who have significant unmet need even after financial aid. Students of color face additional systemic racial and economic barriers that hinder their access and completion of postsecondary education. While access to public support programs can be critical to reduce hardship, policymakers continue to devalue education by restricting access to programs that meet basic needs and provide students crucial services. This contradiction is illustrated by state proposals to deny Medicaid to people who do not work a set number of hours each month. These proposals put many low-income students at risk of losing health insurance, making it harder for them to succeed in school. Programs serving low-income people should promote education as one of their highest priorities—not create new hurdles to completing degrees and credentials. 

This brief —written by Carrie Welton—describes how current proposals to restrict health care access threaten student coverage.