A proposal advancing in the statehouse would require some low-income Iowans to work in order to stay enrolled in Medicaid.

Most adults under the age of 65 would have to work or volunteer at least 20 hours per week, although disabled Iowans and the parents of young children would be exempted from the work requirements. Scott Centorino is with the Opportunity Solutions Project, which supports work requirements for welfare recipients.

“It helps Iowans do more than just see higher incomes,” he says. “It helps Iowans reengage in their communities, build connections and skills.”

Opponents say the bill is unnecessary because most people in Medicaid are already working. They say it would punish people without transportation or child care. The bill has cleared a subcommittee and next goes before the Senate Labor and Business Relations Committee.

(By Iowa Public Radio’s Grant Gerlock)