Trump administration policy will let states enforce work requirements for Medicaid

Trump administration allow work requirements in Medicaid

States can require Medicaid recipients to work, Trump administration says

Meanwhile, Wisconsin and IN welcomed a letter issued Thursday by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announcing that the agency will support state efforts to test incentives that make participation IN work or other community engagement a requirement for continued Medicaid eligibility.

Steve Wagner with the Universal Health Care Action Network says there are many reasons why Medicaid beneficiaries may be unemployed, but being unmotivated is not at the top of the list.

'It is a very major change in Medicaid that for the first time would allow people to be cut off for not meeting a work requirement, regardless of the hardship they may suffer, ' said Judy Solomon of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which advocates for the poor.

Kaiser polling past year found that 70 percent of the public support allowing states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, even as most people in the us were against deep Medicaid cuts sought by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration. The office plans to take a close look at how s waiver could align with the new federal guidelines. That still leaves millions who appear to be able to work.

The Trump administration has given the green light for states to put work requirements on receiving federally-funded Medicaid benefits.

That could also strip coverage from disabled people eligible for Medicaid benefits.

Verma and other conservatives argue that forcing working-age Medicaid beneficiaries to work or seek work - a strategy used for years in other federally funded aid programs for the poor - will improve their health. Nine other states also have filed requests for waivers.

Jezebel reported Thursday that 60 percent of Medicaid's non-elderly recipients already have jobs, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Bevin's proposal would require some adults to work or volunteer at least 20 hours a week to keep health benefits, saying it will inject more personal responsibility into the government health plan and believes participants should have some "skin in the game".

People with a disability, pregnant women, elderly people, children, and the "medically frail" must also be exempted from the requirement, according to the new rule.

The agency said it is encouraging states to consider a range of activities that could satisfy work and community engagement requirements.

AHCCCS officials say the waiver request is created to provide low-income, able-bodied adults "the tools needed to gain and maintain meaningful employment, job training, and education".

The national advocacy group Families USA called the proposed change to the safety net health care program "a radical shift in CMS policy that violates federal law and is part of an ideological agenda that is hostile to government assistance with health coverage".

"Medicaid needs to be more flexible so that states can best address the needs of this population", CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement Thursday.

Why is the Trump administration talking about a work requirement?

A survey Kaiser conducted past year said those who weren't working said it was because of an illness or disability, home or family responsibilities, pursuit of an education, retirement or inability to find a job.

The latest Arizona numbers show 1.8 million Arizonans - one in every four state residents - now has health coverage through Medicaid.

"They want to push people off medicaid and... give states... the option to tell people that you can't be on Medicaid because you're not working", Gerisch said.

"As an example in the TANF program, the cash assistance program, there is authorization to include work limits and work requirements, and there is no such requirement in the Medicaid law", said Berg.

The proposals, she said, came from Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.

"We are going to sweep in people who are working or trying to get work because they haven't filled out the necessary paperwork", Perkins said. As a disability lawyer and disabled person myself, I know this policy change will be disastrous for my community in a number of important ways. Any additional requirements will serve to make people who are now eligible for Medicaid ineligible.

Hannah Katch, a health policy expert at the center, is a former Senate health policy staff member and a California Medicaid administrator.

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