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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Polk County Board: Affeldt calls MA/MN Care recipients 'lazy people'

  • He says social services staff should tell them to get off their butts and get to work.
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  • Are people who receive Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare lazy? Polk County Commissioner Warren Affeldt thinks so.
    In a county board meeting Tuesday, Affeldt brought up a concern regarding several small business owners in Polk County who have job openings and cannot find anyone to fill them. "People work a week, or two, or three and quit," said Affeldt. "These aren't bad paying jobs that people are walking away from. They aren't physically difficult jobs. People are just lazy."
    As Polk County Social Services Director Kent Johnson listened, Affedlt continued with, "I would encourage your people (Polk County Social Service personnel) to tell them (people receiving Medical Assistance/MinnesotaCare) to get off their butts and get to work. There has got to be some way that your people can strongly encourage them to get out, get a job and keep a job."
    Johnson said the problem was worth looking into and encouraged Affedlt to privately provide a list of employers who have contacted him with this concern.
    Medical Assistance is currently available to county residents aged birth to 65, without a disability, who meet qualifications, and do not earn little to no monthly income. MinnesotaCare provides health insurance benefits, with an income-based monthly premium, to Minnesota residents, aged birth to 65, without disabilities, who are generally employed, but are still considered low income, have low asset value, and meet other qualifications, such as not having access to employer-offered healthcare plans.
    According to Johnson, at present, 4,161 Polk County residents are receiving Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare benefits.
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