New Work Requirements Constitute an Attack on Medicaid – and on Women’s Health

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

“Allowing states to impose work requirements on Medicaid enrollees, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced today that it will do, will result in many of the most vulnerable women and families in our society losing the coverage they rely on for essential health care.

Instead of looking for ways to ensure that everyone has access to the care they need, this shameful, punitive move will cause real harm to low-income families, many of whom struggle with disability, serious chronic health problems, substance use disorders, and other serious personal and family health issues. And, ironically, as people lose their Medicaid coverage, it will become even more difficult for them to get and hold jobs.

The impact on women will be especially punitive. Women are the majority of Medicaid enrollees, and Medicaid is the largest payer of reproductive health care, including births, in this country. Almost one-third of adult non-disabled Medicaid enrollees are caregivers. Nearly two-thirds of the Medicaid enrollees at risk of losing coverage because of work requirements are women.

This is just one more in a string of shameful, relentless attacks on Medicaid – and all those who rely on it – by an administration and congressional leaders who are deeply hostile to those in need. We oppose today’s move and will work tirelessly to protect health care for all women and families in this country.”

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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