Racial Health Inequities and Medicaid Work Requirements

Research by the Center for Children and Family demonstrates that Medicaid work reporting requirements proposed for low-income parents would disproportionately affect African American mothers and families. In three of the five states we reviewed, African American adults represent the largest proportion of the population subject to work reporting requirements. In all five states, the share of African American adults affected is far greater than their share of state’s populace. Consider:

  • In Mississippi, 71 percent of the adults who would be affected are African American, compared to 37 percent of the state’s population. At the same time, white adults make up 24 percent of those subject to requirements and 58 percent of the population.
  • In Alabama, 58 percent of the adults who would be affected are African American, compared to 26.5 percent of the state’s population. At the same time, white adults make up 40 percent of those subject to requirements and 68 percent of the population.
  • In South Carolina, 47 percent of the adults who would be affected are African American, compared to 27 percent of the state’s population. At the same time, white adults make up 46 percent of those subject to requirements and 68 percent of the population.
  • In Oklahoma, 19 percent of the adults who would be affected are African American, compared to 7.2 percent of the state’s population. At the same time, white adults make up 64 percent of those subject to requirements and 65 percent of the population.
  • In Tennessee, 28 percent of the adults who would be affected are African American, compared to 16 percent of the state’s population. At the same time, white adults make up 64 percent of those subject to requirements and 75 percent of the population.

Proposed Medicaid Work Requirement: Impact on Alabama’s Low-Income Families with Children
Joan Alker, Phyllis Jordan, Olivia Pham, and Karina Wagnerman, March 2018

Proposed Medicaid Work Requirement: Impact on Mississippi’s Low-Income Families
Joan Alker, Phyllis Jordan, Olivia Pham, and Karina Wagnerman, April 2018

Low-Income Families with Children Will Be Harmed by South Carolina’s Proposed Medicaid Work Requirement
Joan Alker, Phyllis Jordan, Karina Wagnerman, and Olivia Pham, June 2018

New Waiver Proposal for Oklahoma Medicaid Beneficiaries Would Harm Low-Income Families With Children
Joan Alker, Phyllis Jordan, Olivia Pham, August 2018

Summary of Mississippi’s Revised Section 1115 Medicaid Waiver Proposal
August 2018

Work Reporting Requirement for Tennessee Parents Would Harm Low-Income Families with Children
Joan Alker and Olivia Pham, January 2019

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