Community Organizing Defeats Medicaid Work Requirements: FSSA Suspends Gateway To Work Program
October 31, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced today that it will suspend the cruel and burdensome “Gateway to Work Program” in response to a sustained community campaign led and organized by Hoosier Action.
As a part of the campaign, Hoosier Action has collected over 5,000 petition and postcard signatures, knocked on over 1,500 doors, held hundreds of conversations, organized multiple public education events, coordinated in-district meetings with state legislators, and led an Indianapolis rally, press conference, and petition delivery on July 1st.
Indiana Legal Services and the National Health Law Program filed a lawsuit on September 23rd to block Indiana’s Medicaid work requirement waiver. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four Hoosiers, including one surfaced through Hoosier Action’s extensive outreach efforts, because their healthcare has been put at risk by the burdensome and unnecessary “Gateway to Work” program.
According to Adam Mueller of Indiana Legal Services, “Hoosier Action has been a vital outreach partner for Indiana Legal Services. They have done an extraordinary job of talking to folks in the community on the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) and facing other health crisis. Our legal work in this case would not have been possible without their deep and broad community connections.”
“We applaud this move by the state of Indiana to protect a vital healthcare program,” says Hoosier Action Executive Director Kate Hess Pace. “A prosperous Indiana is only possible if everyone has access to healthcare. We need to continue to remove barriers for families, so that all Hoosiers can receive the healthcare they deserve.”
Melodie DeMarco, a Hoosier Action member and Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) enrollee subject to the Gateway to Work reporting requirements expressed relief over the state’s decision to listen to her voice: the suspension of this program “gives me is a chance to progress out of my situation instead of being stuck in the same cycle!”
Background: Starting on July 1, 2019, Indiana began implementation of the “Gateway to Work on the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), a public healthcare program funded by both the state and federal governments and a form of Medicaid.
According to the non-partisan US Government Accountability Office (GAO) and independent assessments, Indiana’s Medicaid Work Requirements would cover 53,000 to 88,000 fewer Hoosiers and cost the public an estimated 35.1 million dollars!
ABOUT HOOSIER ACTION
Hoosier Action is a nonpartisan, homegrown community organization made up of thousands of Hoosiers, mostly from rural and small-town Indiana. We believe that all Hoosiers, regardless of how much money they make, should have a say in the decisions which affect our lives.