Rebecca Vallas Profile picture
Jan 11, 2018 23 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
BREAKING: Trump has officially ended Medicaid as we know it, by allowing states to take health insurance away from people who can't find a job.

(Please RT to spread the word.) 1/
With the GOP unable so far to repeal the ACA and destroy Medicaid through legislation, Trump's decided he's done waiting for Congress. 2/
According to a letter to state Medicaid directors, states will now be allowed to strip most working-age people of Medicaid if they aren't working or participating in qualifying activities for a set number of hours per week. 3/
Adding so-called "work requirements" to Medicaid has long been on the GOP wish list. Most recently, Congressional Republicans tried and failed to do this through legislation, as part of ACA repeal efforts. 4/
And GOP governors in a slew of red states have been chomping at the bit for the OK from Washington to do this.

While all eyes were on the healthcare debate in Congress, at least 6 states requested authority to do so last year alone. 5/
As many as 10 such requests are currently pending, with many more sure to follow.

Today's announcement is expected to kick off approval of those requests, likely starting with Kentucky. 6/
While the letter is cloaked in puppies and rainbows language about "community engagement," make no mistake. This is Trump #destroyingMedicaid by ending the program's core promise of providing coverage to all eligible people. 7/
Taking health insurance away from struggling workers isn't just heartless--it's also incredibly boneheaded.

Study after study shows having health insurance doesn't just lead to better health--it translates into increased work capacity, and in turn higher wages & earnings. 8/
On the flip side, the nation's preeminent experiment with work requirements shows they not only fail to improve long-term employment outcomes--they actually leave people worse off. 9/…
At their core, work requirements are premised on a set of myths about poverty:

- that "the poor" are people who "just don't want to work"

- that anyone who wants a well-paying job can snap her fingers & make one appear

- that having a job is all it takes to not be poor

Reinforcing these myths is core to Trump's divide and conquer playbook. That's why he's so keen to smear Medicaid and other popular programs as "welfare"--a dog-whistle with a deeply racially charged history. 11/
By using dog-whistle terms like "welfare" he's betting he can paint people who turn to Medicaid & other public programs to make ends meet as modern-day "welfare queens"--so we don't notice he's coming after the entire working and middle class. 12/
The letter announcing the policy says it won't apply to pregnant women or to people who qualify for Medicaid on the basis of disability.

But the guidance itself admits that this will fail to protect the countless people with disabilities who don't fall into that bucket. 13/
The guidance also admits that lots of folks may need "supportive services" to work or find work--job search help, disability supports, transportation etc.

But it then makes clear states CAN'T USE FEDERAL MEDICAID FUNDS to pay for these services. 14/
A recent study out of U. Michigan looking at work status of Medicaid enrollees shows what a disaster this policy will be for people with disabilities & health conditions.… 15/
Of the state's Medicaid enrollees not currently working:

- Two-thirds reported a chronic physical illness

- 35% reported a diagnosed mental illness

- One-quarter reported a physical/mental condition that interfered with their ability to function at least half the time.

^ These are the supposed freeloaders Trump's so worried about. 17/
Here's how this will play out. Anyone with a disability or health condition who isn't in receiving Medicaid on the basis of disability will have to prove their condition to the state's satisfaction. 18/
I can tell you from my legal aid days how hard this will be for the very folks MOST in need of health insurance. Many will end up caught in red tape and paperwork. Victims of bureaucratic disentitlement. 19/
The American people voiced their opposition to cutting Medicaid loud and clear all throughout 2017, shutting down GOP efforts to do so through legislation. So Trump decided to take matters into his own (tiny) hands and do it himself by fiat. 20/
Litigation will follow, as legal experts have noted conditioning Medicaid coverage on work violates the Medicaid statute. Follow @NHeLP_org who will be a leader here. 21/
In the meantime, RT this thread to spread the word -- and join the #HandsOff campaign at to help fight this and other attacks on healthcare and the other basics families need. /end (for now)
Argh, typo! Join the #HandsOff fight at — need that S in there!

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More from @rebeccavallas

Sep 12, 2018
Later this morning, @uscensusbureau will release its annual report on poverty for 2017.

We expect a slight downtick in the U.S. poverty rate—which is without question good news.

But if Trump tries to take credit, he deserves to be laughed out of the room.

(Here’s why.)
@uscensusbureau Any good news for struggling workers is thanks to Trump’s FAILURE to impose much of his policy agenda (AKA a how-to guide for massively increasing poverty & hardship):

- dismantling food assistance
- tripling the poorest families’ rents
- stripping jobless workers of Medicaid
@uscensusbureau In fact, analysis by my colleagues @rwest817 & @kfgrobbins found that if just *three* of Trump’s draconian cuts to programs that help families make ends meet had been in place in 2015, 2.3 MILLION more Americans would have been poor.…
Read 7 tweets
Sep 5, 2018
Literally right as House & Senate began conference on the #FarmBill this morning, @USDA released a report finding 15 MILLION American households—about 1 in 6—struggled to put food on the table at some point last year.…
Yet House Republicans, led by @ConawayTX11, are STILL pushing for massive cuts to nutrition assistance that would take food away from 2 million Americans.
These are the members of Congress who are deciding whether to maintain food assistance through SNAP—or to take food out of the mouths of hungry kids & families to pay for millionaire & corporate tax cuts👇👇👇 #handsoffSNAP #FarmBill
Read 4 tweets
Aug 4, 2018
Wow. Internal documents show Trump’s State Department knowingly lied, ignored warnings from top economic advisers & manipulated data in an attempt to discredit the recent UN report on poverty in America, per @ForeignPolicy.…
The same internal documents also indicate the UN’s report on poverty in America did indeed play a role in motivating the US’s withdrawal from the Human Rights Council earlier this summer.
The same documents show that the State Dept. chose to rely on analysis from the conservative Heritage Foundation OVER THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU—the agency whose job it is to produce and analyze the federal government’s official poverty data—in its effort to whitewash poverty.
Read 7 tweets
Jul 26, 2018
Hi friends!

Today, as we mark the 28th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (#ADA28), let’s do one better.

Let’s stop relegating people with disabilities to a single day in the calendar.

1. One in five Americans are people with disabilities. NEWSFLASH: This makes pretty much every issue a disability issue—from health care to the economy to the environment, to criminal justice, and more.
2. But for too long the notion of “disability policy” has lived in a silo—artificially & counterproductively separate from the fight to end poverty & tackle inequality, to curb climate change, to achieve criminal justice reform, and even the fight for universal health care.
Read 13 tweets
Jul 16, 2018
Move over, climate change.

Trump’s White House just issued a sweeping denial of poverty in America.

1. In a report released late last week, Trump’s WH declared the War on Poverty “largely over and a success.” The report is literally page after page of gaslighting the very real hardship faced by tens of millions of Americans struggling to afford food, housing, healthcare & more.
2. The WH report brazenly denies that homelessness is a meaningful problem in the U.S.—erasing the plight of the over *half a million* Americans without shelter on any given night (which includes 58,000 families with children).
Read 22 tweets
Jun 28, 2018
Feeling all the emotions watching PA @GovernorTomWolf sign the #CleanSlateAct into law just now. Proud to have worked w/my mentor @SDietrich9 to develop the “clean slate” automatic sealing model (now being picked up by other states & Congress!) & @erincohan to get it done in PA.
My head is swirling with thoughts of all of my @CLSphila clients who will be freed from the life sentences to poverty they‘re currently serving once the #CleanSlateAct takes effect. Watching my friend Ronald speak at the signing about what it means to him brought me to tears. :)
Huge thanks to @GovernorTomWolf @RepDelozier @SenTonyWilliams @RepHarris @SenScottWagner for your leadership in making Pennsylvania the first state to adopt clean slate legislation—excited to see Michigan, South Carolina & Colorado already following in PA’s footsteps.
Read 5 tweets

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