How Does Losing Medicaid Help You Get a Job?

The Nation

By: Bryce Covert

By the time Steven Mitchell made it—by foot—to the Churches Joint Council on Human Needs food pantry in Benton, Arkansas, on a cold November day, his two hernias had him limping in pain. A few weeks before, he had received a letter from the state’s Department of Human Services informing him that his Medicaid health coverage had been cut off.

Since June, a total of 18,164 people in Arkansas have lost their Medicaid coverage because they failed to comply with the work requirement. It’s a staggering number, advocates say, given that the state had estimated some 38,000 people would fall under it. “I certainly expected people to lose coverage,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University. “It is fulfilling my lowest expectations.”

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