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Medical Assistance Work Requirements Bill Passes State House

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

Legislation to enact reasonable reforms regarding medical assistance eligibility and help encourage employment passed the state House last week in a 115-80 vote, after considerable debate.

The bill would generally require able-bodied adults receiving Medicaid to work, seek employment or participate in job training, with numerous exemptions. This effort is consistent with the PA Chamber’s workforce development efforts to facilitate employment and help employers find qualified job applicants among a pool of potential talent.

“In 2011, Pennsylvania became the last state in the country to require individuals receiving unemployment compensation benefits to demonstrate they are looking for a job,” PA Chamber Government Affars Director Alex Halper said in a memo to House lawmakers prior to the vote. “While some initially opposed this requirement and there continues to be room for improvement in its administration, we believe it has generally achieved its objectives of encouraging work and connecting employers with potential applicants. We believe H.B. 2138 will help achieve similar objectives and we urge you to support it.”

The bill now awaits further consideration by the state Senate.

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