Having won approval from the Trump regime to add work and job training requirements to Medicaid enrollment, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin also intends to add literacy tests.
State officials say the tests may include household budgeting and weight management, among other things.
The precise content of the courses is not yet worked out but may include instruction on household budgeting, opening a checking account, weight management and chronic disease management, said Kristi Putnam, a manager with Kentucky Health, the new state Medicaid program that includes work requirements. She said quizzes would be included that people must pass to complete the course. [...]
Ms. Putnam said the courses were “intended to be a tool/support for people to improve both health and finances, and not a barrier in any way.” Her agency, she said, is looking into ways to provide help to people who might struggle with understanding the courses.
This is such an obvious lie -- such obvious bullshit -- it's nigh incomprehensible.
Of course it's a barrier. Everything about this is a barrier, from the new requirements to the tests. They don't want to help anyone. That's the whole point. In fact, Governor Bevin himself threatened to rescind all of Medicaid expansion if he doesn't get his way. How is that going to help nearly 450,000 people?
People who need or depend on Medicaid may not even be capable of passing Bevin's new tests for medical or financial reasons. As a former resident of Kentucky, I can tell you financial literacy tests may be particular difficult for rural residents who depend on Medicaid. And I don't say that to be funny or insulting. It's a simple fact that there are thousands of poor people living in the boondocks of Kentucky that did not finish high school and/or don't have bank accounts.
From a more philosophical perspective, it's preposterous that the so-called party of conservatism and limited government wants to mandate that people learn proper weight management before they qualify for health care. It hasn't even been that long since Republicans collectively accused First Lady Michelle Obama of indoctrinating children by encouraging them to eat vegetables. Republicans both in and outside of Congress also spent the last several years fighting federal standards for school lunch programs that encouraged schools to offer more whole grains and less sodium. Now, here you have an arch-conservative Republican governor seeking to micro-manage the body weight of his constituents in the ultimate manifestation of a "nanny state."
President Obama would have never dared to suggest such a thing.