Joe Kennedy III Grills Trump HHS Secretary on Proposed Medicaid Work Requirements

In a testy exchange on Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar faced off with the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

In January, Azar refused to testify on the Trump administration’s family separation policy. At that time, the committee chairman, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), told Bloomberg that he would “get him here at some point one way or another.”

And that showdown came on Wednesday when Azar took a grilling from the committee.

Perhaps one of the tensest exchanges was between the HHS secretary and Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.). The young, redheaded congressman pointed out that 20,000 people in Arkansas have lost their health coverage since the state implemented a Medicaid work requirement.

Azar slow-walked with an answer before stating that his department did not “yet have data as to why they fell off the program.”

Kennedy went on to point out that, though Azar has admitted that his organization doesn’t have the data on people losing health coverage, it wants to extend the program to every state.

“What’s the logic in that?” Kennedy asked.

Watch the video below:

Azar defended the Trump policy before Kennedy asked, “Can you point me to one study that says that work requirements make people healthier?”

Watch the video below:

Kennedy has long been a darling for Democrats and has even been represented as the future of the party. In 2018, he delivered the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

But Kennedy, who is the grandson of Bobby Kennedy and the grand-nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, said very publicly that he’s not interested in running for the Oval Office in 2020. He made the announcement during a Politico interview in 2018 when he joked that he would only get into an Oval Office run if Oprah Winfrey asked him to be her running mate.


  1. Working off the recent college admissions “scandal” which *ahem* suddenly became public, Joe, if you were not a Kennedy do you believe you’d have been elected OR have any recognition?

  2. Ah the work requirement. You’re working age, no dependents, no disabilities. Other people, including those with families, are working to pay for you to sit on your ass.

    How tolerant and enabling we have become since the founding principles “don’t work, don’t eat” or get Medicaid (not a picnic but still free).

    Is natural selection too much a concept for the Party of Science™?

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