Kentucky's planned overhaul of Medicaid, forcing adults to work in order to receive subsidized healthcare, faces a moment of truth in economically depressed areas where "there ain't no jobs," according to a Politico report.
"Around here, there ain't no jobs," Magoffin County's Johnny Puckett, 55, who has not been employed in 25 years, told Politico.
Puckett is among the 400,000 low-income Kentucky adults insured through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, but Trump's Health and Human Service Department might approve of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's plan requiring adults to work in order to get Medicaid – which could become the GOP model nationwide, according to the report.
"If I had my way, everybody who is able to work would be required to work for any program there is," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told Politico. "I think work is a good thing, not a bad thing. I don't think work is punishment."
Medicaid was not meant for the "able-bodied" workforce, according Kentucky state Sen. Ralph Alvarado, and the proposal would require low-income adults to work at least 20 hours per week, participate in job training, or volunteer.
"I think it incentivizes people to get out there," Alvarado told Politico.
The issue in eastern Kentucky – including areas where Trump won 75 percent of the vote – is jobs are "just not there," Kentucky professor James Ziliak told Politico. Also, "when people are sick, they can't work," Kentucky Equal Justice Center lawyer Cara Stewart told Politico.
The House has passed the American Health Care Act this spring, and the Senate is working up their own GOP version of an Obamacare repeal and replace this summer.
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