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OPINION

Arkansas Is Debunking Myths About Welfare Reform – And The Left Hates It

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Almost exactly one year ago, Arkansas became the first state to ever implement commonsense work requirements for able-bodied, working-age adults on Medicaid—and the far Left freaked out. 

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Since that time, they’ve proceeded to outright slander the state, falsely asserting that the requirement would leave the state worse off, hurt Arkansans, and was nothing more than a “reporting requirement” designed to confuse enrollees with paperwork rather than help them find a job. They’ve waged an all-out war on work, even using the courts to try to (temporarily) thwart the will of Arkansans, who overwhelmingly support the requirement—Republicans and Democrats alike. 

They’ve gone all out for a few big reasons: they want as much dependency as possible. They think a life-long welfare check is better for Americans than a paycheck. And they also know that Medicaid work requirements are a signature achievement of President Trump’s first term. 

If they can stop Arkansas, they think they can stop work requirements from spreading to other states, increase dependency, and deal a blow to President Trump at the same time. For the far Left, it’s a win-win-win. 

But there’s bad news for them: from Day One, they’ve been wrong about Arkansas’ commonsense welfare reform, and a new study from the Foundation from Government Accountability proves it.

The report finds that the work requirement was, in fact, helping thousands of Arkansans find work. In fact, some of these Arkansans walked into local workforce centers unemployed and left with a job in hand. 

More than 14,000 Arkansans left Medicaid because of increases in their incomes, over just a few short months.

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And taxpayers were on track to save upwards of $300 million per year.

Fewer Arkansans dependent on welfare; more Arkansans working; and more savings for taxpayers, funds that can now go to help truly needy Arkansans. No wonder the far Left hates it so much.

Of course, no one should be surprised. Time after time, welfare reform has been proven to reduce dependency, increase incomes, and lead to better lives for Americans. But this doesn’t fit with the far Left’s vision of Medicaid For All, so they refuse to accept reality.

Looking ahead, Arkansas isn’t backing down. Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Trump administration have both signaled their intent to keep fighting through the courts to restore the work requirement and the will of the people. 

That’s good news for the state and for the country: Medicaid enrollment, particularly amongst able-bodied adults, has more than doubled in recent years and is on an unsustainable path.

There’s a lot of fake news floating around about Arkansas’ wildly successful work requirement. But the bottom line is this: work requirements help people, and Arkansas has proven it once again.

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