Getty Images by: Bill Pugliano

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is ordering the state Attorney General’s office to initiate a request to a federal court for a quick decision on work requirements imposed by the state legislature on some Medicaid recipients. The Governor points to a US Court of Appeals' decision in Arkansas striking down a law similar to Michigan’s as evidence that the writing is on the wall. At stake is the legislature’s decision to require able-bodied residents participating in the program to work 80 hours a month, get job training, or enroll in a formal education program in order to continue to receive the state-sponsored medical care.

Governor Whitmer says it is an unfair requirement. Majority Republicans controlling the state legislature say it is fair that those receiving a government assistance program do something to improve their position in life as long as they are able to do so. Under the new program rules, disabled residents, pregnant women, full-time students, children, and one parent households with a child under the age of 6 years are exempt from the work requirements.

The state is estimating as many as 80 thousand residents so far are not meeting the work requirement.

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