House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is insisting that President Biden agree to new work requirements in Medicaid and beefed-up requirements for both the food stamp program — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — and federal welfare, now called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
McCarthy has described tougher work requirements as a “red line.”
“We want to take people from poverty to jobs. It is only for people who are able-bodied with no dependents,” McCarthy said Monday evening after he met with Biden at the White House.
For his part, Biden has said he won’t agree to any policies that result in people losing health coverage or ones that “push Americans into poverty.”
Under the GOP proposal, Medicaid work requirements would mean 600,000 Americans — mostly low- and moderate-income people who are capable of working and are between 19 and 56 years old — would lose their health care, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis from April.
The losses would come just as states have begun removing ineligible people from their Medicaid rolls for the first time in three years as part of an “unwinding” process. And many of the people who lost coverage in states that started the process already were removed because of procedural reasons, not because they weren’t eligible.
Both SNAP and TANF already have work requirements. For instance, able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 to 49 with no dependents are required to work 20 hours a week or enroll in a work training program in order to receive aid under SNAP.
Republicans want to increase the requirement to people up to age 65.
For TANF aid, individuals must participate in work activities for at least an average of 30 hours per week.