Commonwealth Policy Center

Welfare reform has been a focus of House Republicans this session. Kentucky has long needed this as record numbers of able-bodied Kentuckians have grown dependent upon various programs instead of working and providing for themselves. House Bill 7 is just a start. This bill places work requirements on some Medicaid recipients and places restrictions on food stamp usage. Gov. Beshear has called this action “cruel” and said it will lead to “the decimation of our safety net.” Is it cruel to require able-bodied Kentuckians to work for pay? And will reducing fraud destroy our welfare program? The safety net is in place to help people when things go wrong, not to be a lifelong crutch. As Rep. Josh Bray said, “it’s important that we give people a hand up and not a handout.”