M’LIVE’S ASK THE ATTORNEY COLUMN: MEDICAID
Q. Are the Michigan Republicans taking my Medicaid away?
A. The Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature passed legislation on June 7, 2018 that will require up to 600,000 Michiganders on Medicaid to work 20 hours a week, or else lose their health insurance. Taxpayers will now spend about $25 million each year for a new bureaucracy that will monitor members’ work activities and terminate their access to medical care. While there are some exceptions to the work requirements which will often be burdensome, and sometimes impossible to meet, many people with illnesses or disabilities who have been fired from past jobs and who can not find anyone to hire them now face the loss of their health insurance. Governor Snyder signed the bill. A lawsuit against the Trump administration for allowing similar requirements in Kentucky has already been filed in the D.C. federal district court–Stewart v Azar, Case No. 18-150–by Kentucky citizens, the Kentucky Hospital Association, the National Health Law Program, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and others. Hopefully the courts will recognize that these new requirements violate both the Medicaid statute as well as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; meanwhile, the health of many Michigan citizens has now been put in jeopardy.
UPDATE: US. District Judge James Boasberg of the District of Columbia ruled in his March 202o decision that Michigan’s new Medicaid work requirements were illegal and would not be enforced. This catastrophe has at least so far been avoided.
–Attorney Robert J. MacDonald (June 2018) (Updated Jan 2021)