According to calculations by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Medicaid recipients will be required to document 80 hours of work per month, which at the federal minimum wage would equate to a minimum of $580 in monthly earnings.
The labor requirement would apply to some 15 million of the 86 million people who receive health coverage, who would have to comply with the mandatory hours or request an exemption, that institution estimated.
Within that group, the CBO estimated that at least 1.5 million will likely lose their Medicaid eligibility under the Republican plan, which would reduce program costs by $109 billion over 10 years.
Six major medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association, issued a statement opposing Medicaid work requirements, arguing that it would increase patients’ medical debt and add barriers to care.
“Health care issues don’t go away, they’re still there, and if not addressed initially, they can lead to more complications down the road, which will end up costing the health care system even more,” said Tochi Iroku-Malize, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Medicaid is critical to ensuring access to care and reducing disparities, and any cuts will exacerbate the gaps we have in care, she added, quoted by a report from NBC News.
Negotiations to increase the federal debt limit have been taking place for several weeks without reaching any agreement due to the fact that the Democrats do not comply with the Republican demands, which hold the majority in the House of Representatives, to cut social programs in favor of a reduction in the deficit.
For her part, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen assured that the United States will run out of mechanisms to pay trillions of dollars in debt on June 1, after which the country could suspend social security payments and the salaries of their federal employees, in addition to the ravages experienced by the global economy.