The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's request to impose work requirements on people who receive Medicaid coverage, but that may not be the worst part of Walker's new program.
The new requirements, which will inevitably lead to thousands people losing access to health care, will also require people to prove that they're eating right.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) lays out the program here:
For starters, Wisconsin is the first state allowed to take coverage away from people with incomes below the poverty line if they don’t pay $8 monthly premiums. Those with incomes as low as 50 percent of the poverty line — or about $500 per month for an adult without dependents — who don’t pay premiums will lose Medicaid for up to six months. Wisconsin also became the fifth state allowed to take Medicaid coverage away from people who aren’t working or engaged in work-related activities, which could cause many people to lose coverage. In addition, low-income adults will be required to complete a health risk assessment (HRA) in order to get or maintain their coverage.
Together, these policies are likely to significantly restrict access to Medicaid coverage for many low-income adults in Wisconsin.
The "health risk assessment" will supposedly reward people for displaying vaguely-defined "healthy behavior" by lowering their Medicaid premium, but refusing to complete an HRA or displaying unhealthy behavior will increase premiums.
It's essentially a tax on people who are out of shape for whatever reason.
As someone who does not have a lot of money, I can say from personal experience that one of the biggest struggles is trying to balance eating right with eating enough. And Scott Walker is going to impose these requirement on people who are in a worse situation than I am.
It really has not been that long since Republicans attacked First Lady Michelle Obama for encouraging kids to eat more vegetables, and that wasn't even a law; it was just a public health campaign.
Republicans are not forcing people to jump through hoops for access to health care because they genuinely care about the health of their constituents. They're doing it because they hate poor people. They don't believe you should have health care. They don't care about you. They want you dead.
Stop voting for people who want you dead.