All the NeverTrump conservatives who opposed the president because they thought he wouldn’t be a reliable torch-carrier for the ideology of conservatism got more in-your-face good news this week when the Trump administration announced that they would let states impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. We’ve yet to see too many of those good ol’ NeverTrumpers come up to a microphone and admit they were dead wrong about this president, and we don’t expect we ever will. But we hope, when they aren’t pandering to their dwindling audiences of, cough cough, “true conservatives,” they are thanking their lucky stars that America didn’t follow them down the disastrous rabbit hole of Hillary Clinton support.
But enough about the spoil sports. Let’s talk about what a terrific move this is from a president who has been nothing less than the greatest champion conservatism has had in the White House since Ronald Reagan.
From the NY Times:
Federal officials said they would support state efforts to require able-bodied adults to work or participate in other “community engagement activities” as a condition of eligibility for Medicaid.
“Our fundamental goal is to make a positive and lasting difference in the health and wellness of our beneficiaries, and today’s announcement is a step in that direction,” said Seema Verma, the administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Ms. Verma said the Trump administration was responding to requests from Medicaid officials in 10 states that wanted to run demonstration projects testing requirements for work or other types of community engagement like training, education, job search, volunteer activities and caregiving.
Under the new policy, Trump administration officials would allow work requirements in Medicaid somewhat similar to those already imposed in other programs like food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the welfare program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
It practically goes without saying that this shift will bring an outcry from the left. Democrats believe that any attempt whatsoever to limit the welfare state is tantamount to abject cruelty of the highest order. Of course, that’s what they have to believe since their only real ideological platform is, “Vote for us and we’ll make sure you don’t have to do anything at all with your life!”
But as much as the left insists that healthcare is a God-given, human right, it is no one’s right to demand someone else’s labor for free. And that’s essentially the kind of situation we have when we turn the social safety net into a bed. There’s nothing cruel or wrong about demanding that able-bodied adults look for work if they expect to get a handout from the government. To do otherwise is to invite a steady decline into national stagnation, to say nothing of the individual effects of a life stripped of purpose or ambition.