Louisiana House passes Medicaid work bill that doesn’t require anyone to work

The Louisiana House voted 69-29 for legislation Friday (March 2) that was originally aimed at requiring some Medicaid recipients to work to receive their government health benefits, but that has been altered such that Medicaid recipients who refused to work couldn’t actually lose their health care.

The Senate would still have to take up the bill for consideration before it is implemented.

“Again, I am going to say that we are not removing anyone from Medicaid,” said Rep. Frank Hoffman, R-West Monroe, the sponsor of the legislation before it was approved.

Though House Bill 3 no longer requires Medicaid recipients to work, it would likely still cost the state money to implement a plan that suggests able-bodied Medicaid recipients get a job, take educational classes or volunteer.

The legislative fiscal office was unable to determine how much money a Medicaid work suggestion might end up costing the state because the legislation was so vague about what the suggested work and education might be. Most of the upfront work would likely be covered by the federal government, but the state would have to still put up some money for the initiative.

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