Two state senators are pushing for a bill to tighten requirements for Medicaid recipients in Pennsylvania.
Nearly half a million non-disabled Pennsylvanians between the ages of 19 and 64 receive their healthcare through the use of medicaid.
That, say the authors of proposed changes to the commonwealth’s Medicaid program, isn’t right.
“Welfare programs are there to help people who desperately need help. But they shouldn’t be there to continually help able bodied people who can physically go to work everyday,” Senator Dave Argall said.
senators Argall and Scott Martin are proposing a change requiring non-disabled medicaid recipients to meet some work requirements to receive benefits.
Those requirements include getting a job or actively looking for one, going back to school. Even volunteering.
There are some exceptions to the rule. Like if you are under 18, older than 65, pregnant, disabled or take care of someone that is disabled. Senator Argall says that the focus of this is on people who are able-bodied workers.
Linda Hanerfeld is about 70 years old and has been working since she was a teenager. She likes the senators push for change.
“Even if they sweep a street, even if they clean toilets even if they help with seniors or the children that need help anything. Get a little paycheck. It makes you feel good about yourself. You’re contributing,” Hanerfeld said.
Governor Tom Wolf, on the other hand hasn’t been in favor of it. He’s already vetoed the bill twice.
Argall says they are trying to find a common ground to get it passed this year.
“We are hoping we can figure out those differences so we can get this bill to his signature,” Argall said.
Argall and Martin, both republicans, believe passing this bill will not only boost the economy but will lift part of the cost of the program off tax payers, it benefits the recipient.
Work requirements already exist for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.