Trump Admin Okays First Medicaid Work Requirement

US moves to limit Medicare the publicly funded health insurance program for the poor and disabled have been the subject of protests like this one in July,2017 in New York City

For those who missed it - and given what a big week it's been for abusing the country's most vulnerable, from Salvadorans who have lived in the USA for more than a decade and now face deportation to hospital patients kicked to the curb in Baltimore, not to mention hearing how a president describes Haiti and African countries in the most vulgar of terms, that's understandable - but the Woodlawn-based Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released guidelines that open the door to allowing states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. In other words, Medicaid didn't originally cover nearly any able-bodied adults.

The guidance letter does acknowledge the severity of the opioid crisis.

So even if the official rationale for the new policy - the Department of Health and Human Services says work improves health - is valid, it's superfluous in most cases. Yes", Flores said. "Should that be a barrier to getting benefits? They're considered "demonstration programs" to test ideas. "It does not say you can't do anything that would impair access to treatment".

However some IL patient advocates said they hope the state doesn't submit a proposal to make having a job a condition of Medicaid eligibility, citing fears it would leave people without health insurance. Those generally include requirements for recipients to be working, be looking for work, volunteering or in school. "Keeping up with the reporting requirements alone will be enough of a burden on people who have two or three part-time jobs that they'll either lose coverage at some point or may decide it's not worth enrolling to begin with".

"I'm a little anxious that we are going to not be able to hold all of the people because so many people want to come and be a part of this", Bobo said.

While the Trump administration signaled willingness this week to allow work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries, the Florida Legislature is unlikely to move ahead with such a mandate this year.

Besides work requirements, the waiver also makes several other changes to Kentucky's Medicaid program.

But the Obama administration encouraged states to waive work TANF requirements, with the result that by 2015, 42 states had partially or completely waived them, and food stamp enrollment skyrocketed to almost 46 million (from 17 million in 2000).

The Trump Administration's proposal to institute work requirements for Medicaid - government health insurance for the poor - is unlikely to affect Pennsylvania soon.




More than 285,000 Arkansans were enrolled in the Medicaid program as of January 1.

Local reaction was subdued Friday after Gov. Matt Bevin announced Kentucky earned federal approval to implement work requirements for Medicaid benefits.

"One of the things that states have told us time and time again is that they want more flexibility to engage their working-age, able-bodied citizens on Medicaid", Verma told a conference of state Medicaid directors in November.

However, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the vast majority of non-Supplemental Security Income Medicaid enrollees were unemployed for those reasons. But many are in the kind of unstable, low-wage jobs in which hours vary from week to week and sporadic layoffs are common.

"I think that's geared toward Obamacare expansion, not to our plan since we didn't expand", Corcoran said of imposing work requirements.

Beneficiaries who are medically frail, have an acute medical condition, as well as the elderly, pregnant women and those who are the "primary caregiver" for a child will be exempt from the requirements. Consumer advocates and health policy experts fear that such a requirement could prove a big hurdle for many recipients, leaving them without the care they need.

The stated objective of the new guidance is to encourage work, which the Trump administration argues is ultimately good for people's health. He added: "Make no mistake: People will die because of this".

But Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Chairwoman Anitere Flores, R-Miami, said the Senate has not discussed requiring those now enrolled in the program to work.

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