Trump administration opens the way for a Medicaid work requirement

12 January, 2018, 03:23 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
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The Trump administration will allow states to test requiring some Medicaid recipients to work or participate in community activities such as volunteering or jobs training as a condition of eligibility for the government health insurance program for the poor.

Ten states, all of which have Republican governors, recently applied for waivers to impose work requirements. "We see people moving off of Medicaid as a good outcome", she said.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rolled out guidance Thursday for states wishing to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients, declaring that "helping Americans at or near the poverty line improve their lives. should be a cause that unites us all".

Other states to receive approval are Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, Utah and Wisconsin.

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The Trump administration has unveiled a major policy shift that offers a path for states seeking to tie Medicaid eligibility to work requirements.

Certain Medicaid recipients would be exempt from the rules, including those with disabilities, the elderly, children and pregnant women, the administration said.

People are not legally required to hold a job to be on Medicaid, but states traditionally can seek federal waivers to test new ideas for the program.

"Work requirements don't help the unemployed or underemployed find work", Bolt notes, "it punishes them when they're down-which is exactly what the Trump administration wants to do". The plan comes after months of failed negotiations on Capitol Hill to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's landmark health care legislation. "While high-quality health care is important for an individual's health and well-being, there are many other determinants of health".

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"Health care is a right that shouldn't be contingent on the ideological agendas of politicians", said Sen.

But it's not clear how many people would be affected by the new rules.

According to government statistics, 60 percent of non-disabled, working-age adults having a job, while almost 80 percent live with families that have at least one member in the labor force. Many Republican-governed states declined to take part in the expansion.

The state and federal comment periods have closed for at least seven states that have already asked CMS to allow them to institute work requirements, according to NHeLP. But many of them are either in school or staying home to care for a family member, while about a third are too sick to work.

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"Among the adult Medicaid enrollees who were not working, most report major impediments to their ability to work including illness or disability or care-giving responsibilities", the study adds. The guidance document suggests that state Medicaid directors should incorporate work requirements into other state programs that promote wellness, increase employment opportunities, and ultimately improve financially-based social health determinants. Requiring recipients to work would be illegal because it is not consistent with Medicaid's objectives, said Leonardo Cuello, health policy director of the National Health Law Program. Under the Affordable Care Act, the program has expanded in more than 30 states to cover residents with somewhat higher incomes. The link between government help and work later was extended to anti-hunger efforts through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as food stamps are now called.

"There are a lot of different ideas, and a lot of ways to go about this", she said. He dismissed the agency's justification that unemployment makes people less healthy.

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