Last week, the Trump administration announced that it would allow states to impose so-called “work requirements” on Americans enrolled in Medicaid. Make no mistake: this is yet another an attack by this right-wing government on the poorest and sickest of our friends and neighbors.
At my Listening Tour stop on Wednesday night, I heard from voters in Clarion County (where 3,000 people are enrolled in Medicaid) who raised this issue directly. Their message: it is expensive to be poor in this country, and making it harder to get the Medicaid benefits they need would make things even worse.
Almost everyone who receives Medicaid and isn’t working is either living with an illness or disability that prevents them from working, taking care of family members, in school, or retired. How can ripping away their health benefits possibly be the moral thing to do?
Medicaid was created 50 years ago to provide a safety net for people who are sick, struggling, and in need of help. It pays for treatment for people battling opioid addiction, a crisis that has torn apart communities across our district. It’s a lifeline for people who have to leave their job to care for a sick parent. It’s a key building block of how we care for the most vulnerable among us.
The Republicans in Washington have shown us where their priorities are. At a time when income inequality is at historic levels and U.S. life expectancy is decreasing for the first time in two decades, they’re focused on smashing our life-saving safety net programs into dust so that they can give massive tax cuts to the wealthy elite.
I’m running for Congress to get our government’s moral priorities back in order.