Medicaid Work Requirements Draw Objection

Health-care advocates say a proposal to impose work requirements on some Oklahoma Medicaid recipients could eliminate health coverage for the state’s poorest parents.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the state’s Medicaid provider, is considering requiring some Medicaid recipients to report at least 80 hours of work per month in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage. A similar program went into effect in Arkansas in June and the federal government has authorized programs in three other states.

Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, said Tuesday that while helping poor mothers find work is a worthy goal, very poor parents will likely lose their Medicaid coverage.

Dr. Nathan Valentine, a family physician in Oklahoma City, says the requirement could delay primary care to patients.

 

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