Legislators who want to add work requirements to Medicaid and SNAP (food assistance) obviously haven’t done their homework. Their goal isn’t to help Wyomingites move toward self-sufficiency; it’s to make people with difficult lives even more miserable.

First: Medicaid is access to health care. Recipients don’t get cash or anything else to live on.

Second: Wyoming Medicaid has only “categorical” eligibility. It’s not enough simply to be low-income; a recipient has to meet the requirements of a specific category to receive health care.

In Wyoming, Medicaid is available only to children, pregnant women, family care adults, and the aged/blind/disabled (with some other minor categories). Family care recipients – usually adults caring for others who can’t take care of themselves - are subject to a fixed income limit of $737 a month for a family of two; for a family of four, $999 a month. Wow.

Wyoming Medicaid provides no assistance to people everyone would agree need help - for example, a working mother without insurance who has been diagnosed with cancer.

How does that mother get treatment? If she gets treated at all, the hospital must eat the costs or raise its rates to the insured. That’s why the Wyoming Hospital Association pointed out that reducing access to Medicaid hurts Wyoming health care providers. Just what we need, bill sponsors!

And what about SNAP? Federal law already imposes work requirements on SNAP recipients. Again, legislators, do your research.

Valuable legislative time is best used to improve economic opportunity and quality of life for all Wyomingites instead of on thoughtless bills based on grocery store anecdotes.

Sarah Gorin, Laramie

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