Tuesday, June 6, 2023
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Medicaid: Reject ‘work requirement’ policy




Re: “Debt ceiling talks grind on, but Republicans say there’s a ‘lack of urgency’ from White House” [May 23, Nation & World Politics]:

Our leaders in Washington, D.C., are discussing how to avoid a default on the nation’s debt.

More than 2 million Washingtonians rely on Medicaid for health care. One provision under discussion adds barriers to health care called “work requirements.” According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 91% of individuals in the Medicaid expansion group are either workers, caregivers, students or unable to work due to illness. These requirements add unnecessary paperwork that could result in lost coverage.

Other proposals would repeal tax incentives for clean energy or would open the door for building more polluting energy sources.

As the local chair for the American Lung Association, I know the importance of health care and clean air for people living with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. If these went into effect, people could face poor air quality or loss of their coverage, leaving them unable to manage their chronic lung disease, which results in more dire, costlier care down the road.

I ask U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and our congressional delegation, to reject the “work requirement” policy for Medicaid and the build out of polluting energy to protect our health.

James R. Garnett, Seattle

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