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article imageTrump calls for enforcing work requirements for welfare programs

By Karen Graham     Apr 11, 2018 in Politics
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday directing federal agencies to add and strengthen work requirements for public assistance and other welfare programs.
The executive order aims to "increase self-sufficiency, well-being, and economic mobility" by encouraging federal agencies to promote employment for individuals on public assistance who are able to work.
"The Federal Government should do everything within its authority to empower individuals by providing opportunities for work, including by investing in Federal programs that are effective at moving people into the workforce and out of poverty," the order states.
The order was directed at the heads of the Treasury, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education departments to review public assistance regulations and policies.
The move is the administration's latest attempt to require low-income Americans to work for their federal benefits and directs federal agencies to review all regulations relating to work and ensure such regulations and documents are consistent with the principles for reform. Agencies have 90 days to submit a list of recommended policy and regulatory changes.
Many states already have work mandates
A number of states, like Kentucky, Indiana, and Arkansas have already received approval to require certain Medicaid recipients to participate in some sort of work programs, like volunteer or job training, including getting a job.
Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin are currently implementing commonsense work requirements.
Supplementing the workforce
According to a January 2018 survey released by the Federal Reserve, businesses across the country are having challenges finding enough workers to fill the quality jobs that are available, according to the president's executive order.
Yet despite the shortage of workers, welfare enrollment remains at or near record highs. In 2016, over 16 million adult males were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), once called the Food Stamp program.
In January 2018, over 74 million Americans were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a 29 percent increase over the 2013 baseline period. The president also claims that today, there is a record 28 million able-bodied adults on Medicaid. In fact, since 2000, the number of able-bodied adults on Medicaid has quadrupled.
Actually, the report shows 74,039,021 individuals were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP in the 51 states reporting January 2018 data. 67,683,496 individuals were enrolled in Medicaid and 6,355,525 individuals were enrolled in CHIP, so the president has his figures correct.
The figures show an increase of nearly 16.4 million additional individuals were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP in January 2018, as compared to the period prior to the start of the first Marketplace open enrollment period in 2013.
More about trump for president, Public assistance, welfare programs, medicare and medicaid, Food stamps
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