That is the question policy-makers are asking as they consider imposing work requirements on healthy Medicaid participants.

In recent years a number of states have attempted to establish such a requirement, only to have their requests to do so rejected by regulators in Washington, and a clause permitting states to establish such a requirement was included last month in the eventually sidetracked American Health Care Act.  Even now, a Kentucky Medicaid waiver application under consideration by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services includes a work requirement.

Does the lack of a work requirement encourage people in Medicaid expansion states to withdraw from the workforce?

Is a work requirement a way to raise the income of beneficiaries just enough to cost them their Medicaid eligibility?

Are there jobs available for beneficiaries if such a requirement were to be imposed?

And aren’t many able-bodied Medicaid beneficiaries already working?

This issue is of particular interest to private urban safety-net hospitals because they serve such large numbers of Medicaid patients.

The Urban Institute looks at these and other Medicaid work-related issues in the new paper “Rationale for Medicaid work requirements not supported by evidence.”  Find that paper here.