Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Kentucky became the first state in the nation to receive a federal waiver to require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work, go to school, or engage in community service at least 20-hours per week. This is a major change to the Medicaid program. The plan is to incentivize good behaviors. Recipients are given control over a $1000 health spending account where money is tied to certain benchmarks that are met. The reforms are a path forward toward independence where individual dignity of the poor is affirmed. It's estimated that the plan will save $2.4 billion and result in nearly 100,000 fewer Medicaid recipients after five years. The monetary savings is good but it's more valuable to enable people to take ownership of their own lives so they're don't get caught in the entitlement trap.