Whitmer: Delaying Medicaid work rules avoids wasting money


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist announce their plan to expand the right to overtime for Michigan workers earning up $51,000 during a news conference at the Fisher Building in Detroit on Thursday, October 24, 2019. (Max Ortiz/Detroit News via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says delaying implementation of work requirements for enrollees in Michigan’s Medicaid expansion program would prevent the state from potentially wasting at least $1 million.

The Democrat issued a special message to legislative leaders Tuesday, a day after saying the Republican-controlled Legislature should pause the rules taking effect in January.

She notes a lawsuit is challenging the law and says Michigan will soon spend $1 million to send letters notifying about 200,000 residents of requirements to keep their health coverage. If a court blocks implementation, as has happened in other states, the letter would be invalid.

Whitmer says legislators should “protect Michigan taxpayers while the courts determine legality.”

Republican legislative leaders are rejecting the request. They say pausing the program would push people deeper into dependency.

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