Tennessee House Approves Bill Seeking Work Requirements for Some TennCare Recipients - Articles

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Posted by: Jarod Word on Mar 21, 2018
A bill seeking to implement work requirements for "able-bodied" TennCare recipients was overwhelmingly approved by the state House on Monday, reports The Tennessean. The proposal, sponsored by House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, directs the state Department of Finance and Administration to seek a federal waiver to impose work requirements for able-bodied, working-age TennCare recipients without dependent children under 6 years old.
 
As the chamber discussed the bill Monday, several Democrats unsuccessfully introduced amendments seeking to change the measure. One amendment, sponsored by House Minority Leader and gubernatorial candidate Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, would have directed the state to submit a waiver to expand Medicaid, however, this amendment was voted down. "The problem with this bill as a whole," said Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, "is that poor mothers will have less and less access to health care. This movement to take health care away from Tennesseans will not stop with these disadvantaged individuals.”
 
Gov. Bill Haslam has voiced support for the bill, telling the Knoxville Chamber, “We have Tennessee Reconnect. Anybody can go back to school for free… and then actually we’re really short on workforce folks now.”
 
“We have thousands of unmet job needs in Tennessee right now. So this is an environment where people can go fairly easily and meet those qualifications," Haslam said.
 
The House voted 72-23 in favor of the measure. The Senate is expected to take up its version of the bill in the coming days.

–Here is a recent amendment to SB1728 /HB1551