Require Medicaid Recipients to Work

Editor, News-Register:

I agree with Kentucky for wanting to have people work for the state health care. I am a transplant from Kentucky. I was on Medicaid from the time I was 4 until I was 16 (probably longer than that). Why? Because of the fact my mother “couldn’t find full-time work” close to home, never mind the fact the stores close to us begging for people to come work for them. It wasn’t until 1994 that she “caved” and went to work at the local Kmart. She had a car so there was no reason she couldn’t find a permanent job.

My mother did get hurt in February 1985 because the school I went to Headstart hadn’t cleared the sidewalks properly of the snow and ice. I can understand her not working while going through physical therapy until I was first grade (ages 5 and 6). But after that, she could have had her pick of jobs (since she had a working vehicle). The reason she suddenly found a permanent full-time job is because in 1994, Kentucky required work to keep Medicaid. Did she not work because of our grandmother and me? Probably. But should she have worked full-time five days a week instead of temporary positions? Yes, she should have. It was about that time she was in school as well. She could work part time or have a work study program to keep the AFDC, food stamps (yes actual food stamps), and keep Medicaid.

While some in the town we lived didn’t drive, most of those could depend on someone to get them to and from work.

The only reason we lost Medicaid in 1996 at the age of 16 is because my mother had gotten married and her ex-husband put the income to the level that we couldn’t keep it, even though he barely worked.

The only reason I had Medicaid here in West Virginia is because I couldn’t afford private insurance. I lost it when I got married and started working (him at $10.15 an hour and working 40 hours a week and me making $8.75 and working between 26-34 hours a week) again after attempting to get a degree. I didn’t want to be on Medicaid again, but it was needed as I have health issues that can put me in the hospital or in an early grave.

I hope work for Medicaid becomes mandatory for all in every state, not just Kentucky. Medicaid was started to be a temporary help for people of my age, rather than permanent thing.

Misty Chain

Wheeling

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