Bill Implementing Work Requirements for Medicaid Recipients Fails at Session End

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As the 2020 state legislative session wound down, one issue that gained some last-minute attention was a proposed constitutional amendment that, if approved by voters, would have imposed further work requirements on Medicaid recipients. HJR 106 and SJR 60, sponsored by Rep. Cody Smith (R-Carthage) in the House and Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer (R-Parkville) in the Senate, ultimately failed to pass either chamber before time ran out on the COVID-19-shortened legislative session.  

SJR 60 had a hearing and passed out of the Senate Health and Pensions Committee in early March, but never made it to the Senate calendar for debate on the Senate floor. HJR 106 was heard and passed out of the House Budget Committee in the second to last week of session, but did not have sufficient support to pass the chamber as a whole. The MCC testified in opposition to both resolutions, arguing that imposing work requirements on Medicaid recipients would lead to many enrollees losing coverage and would make it more difficult for those with chronic medical conditions to continue to receive treatment. Such requirements would be particularly precarious for those low-income workers who now find themselves on the front lines of the health crisis, be they grocery clerks, nursing home attendants, or custodial personnel.  

The MCC has offered its support for a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income workers that will appear on the November 2020 ballot. More information about Medicaid and Medicaid expansion can be found here.

May 26, 2020 - 9:22am
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