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August 6 Special Election Reminder!
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Earlier this month, Governor Kim Reynolds said she would be open to work requirements for people receiving Medicaid.  That set the stage for a last-minute addition to the House Human Resources Committee. House Study Bill 666 was introduced last Tuesday, had a subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, and was voted out of committee on Thursday.

The bill requires anyone getting public assistance (such as Medicaid or food stamps) to have a job, be looking for a job, volunteer, or go to school at least 20 hours per week.  There are a few exceptions - for those who are pregnant, deemed "unfit for employment," those under 19 or over 64, people caring for an infant (under one year), parents caring for a dependent child with a disability or serious medical condition, those receiving unemployment compensation and meeting the requirements of that program, and those participating in a drug or alcohol treatment program.  

As you can see from the chart, 86% of Iowans receiving Medicaid are working or in a family with at least one parent working (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, July 2017).  This is obviously a very controversial issue - it does not address access to transportation, resource limitations, access to appropriate adapative technology or personal assistance, job opportunities in rural areas, and employer attitudes and biases in hiring.  Rep. Steven Holt of Denison will lead the debate on the bill.  If you have opinions about this issue, now is the time to share them with Rep. Holt and with your own State Representatives.  Click here to get started.