President Joe Biden signed a measure on Saturday that suspended the country’s debt limit after weeks of wrangling with Republicans in the House. The legislation averts a default on the nation’s debt. Democrats managed to keep Medicaid work requirements out of the final compromise . That’s a shame.
The proposal would have helped rein in federal spending while preserving the entitlement for the truly needy. The work requirements would have compelled people between the ages of 19 and 55 to work, perform job training, or do community service for at least 80 hours each month in exchange for Medicaid benefits. Recipients with barriers to work, such as disabled people and those with children or other dependents, would have been exempt from the requirements.
It hardly seems unreasonable to ask able-bodied adults to participate in the economy for just 20 hours per week in exchange for taxpayer-funded health coverage. After all, that insurance isn’t cheap.