Anyone who has utilized the Illinois Medicaid program in recent years knows how difficult and broken the system is. Often, they make decisions without informing clients, sometimes leading to massive bills for low income workers, the disabled, the elderly, veterans, and parents.
Enter the GOP plans to ‘overhaul’ the Medicaid program nationally by imposing work requirements on recipients.
I would call this effort an attempt to disrupt healthcare for millions of working Americans, veterans, the chronically ill, and many others.
Waiting for Medicaid to respond to your application or submission of materials cannot only be extensive, it can lead to real damage to your health and bottomline. It also can leave you without healthcare coverage for the better part of a year which also leaves you with a whopping tax fine you have to pay.
Now, imagine being disabled, chronically ill, a veteran, or elderly and adding another layer of red-tape to an already overstressed bureaucratic system that can’t handle the job it’s doing today.
It’s not just a terrible idea, it’s a deadly one.
Add to that the difficulties it would be to manage and oversee these new work requirements, these wait times for people who need healthcare extend from half a year to 9 months or longer.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m sick and in need of medical attention, I can’t wait around for someone to check to see if I’ve been looking for work. I also don’t want to be forced to go to the ER for a simple cold.
We have to do better.
Under the current system, if you are disabled, you work, and you receive Medicaid, you have to meet a spend down every month. Sounds great, right? That would be the case if the system worked efficiently and effectively. It doesn’t.
Too often, the burdens of meeting the spend down requirements are so high and time consuming that many don’t work in order to avoid losing the healthcare that keeps them alive and breathing.
People need more certainty when it comes to their healthcare,
not increased uncertainty.
That’s why cavalier and emotion-baiting proposals like this GOP proposal will only make it more difficult for the disabled, for veterans, and for the chronically ill. Also, these proposals will cost more money for states and the federal government to manage.
I want to make it easier for people to work
by getting the government red tape out of the way.
It shouldn’t be terrifying for these groups to get back to work, but it is. We can do better, and we must.
That’s what I will fight for when I’m your representative in D.C.
Fight to protect your healthcare, fight to get you back to work, and fight to stop cavalier actions that negatively impact the most vulnerable amongst us.
Picture Courtesy of Pete Marovich/Bloomberg, Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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