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Gaetz Adds Medicaid To Food Stamps In Effort To Get People To Work For Social Program Benefits 

Rep. Matt Gaetz continues his push to make federal welfare recipients earn their keep.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, TFP File Photo

Rep. Matt Gaetz continues his push to make federal welfare recipients earn their keep.

The Fort Walton Beach Republican announced on Sunday that he had recently filed the “Medicaid Work Requirements Act,” in which able-bodied people would have to trade work for receiving taxpayer-funded health care.

Gaetz is pushing the idea as a way to persuade Republicans to support raising the federal debt ceiling. 

“As the United States national debt swells to $32 trillion and the debate over raising the debt ceiling continues in Congress, I am looking for ways to get our federal debt and deficit spending under control,” Gaetz said in his weekly newsletter to constituents.

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“That is why I introduced the ‘Medicaid Work Requirements Act’ as a proposal to improve the integrity of the Medicaid program and get our country on a more sustainable fiscal path.”

According to Gaetz, the bill would require Medicaid recipients between 18 and 65, who also are deemed physically and mentally able, to work at least three weeks per month.

If they are unable to find employment, they could continue to receive benefits by participating in a job-training program or providing volunteer service for two weeks per month.

“By putting in place work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients, we can better ensure aid is going to those who need it most and position our country for significant savings,” Gaetz said.

In a recent interview with the website Semafor, Gaetz noted, “Work requirements are proving to be a very unifying concept with my colleagues.”

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On Twitter recently, he added, “Work requirements on means-tested programs (like Medicaid & food stamps) will curtail inflationary government spending and increase labor participation.”

The Free Press reported last week that Gaetz this month had introduced a similar requirement for federal food stamps recipients.

Gaetz found at least one Democratic ally of his Medicaid plan.

In a recent interview, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said he would back Gaetz’s plan.

“What he’s asking about is basically the [President] Bill Clinton ‘welfare-to-work’ [plan]. I supported that, I’ll support it now,” Manchin told Semafor.  

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