Trump Administration wants to enforce work requirements for Medicaid


Arizona is closer to adding work requirements for many low-income people on AHCCCS after the Trump administration said Thursday that it will allow states - for the first time - to require "able-bodied" Medicaid recipients to work. Medicaid was expanded under former President Barack Obama, with an option allowing states to cover millions more low-income adults.

The work requirements "could have negative implications on many who are working or exempt from the requirements".

When Ohio and MI expanded their Medicaid programs to broaden coverage, residents who became eligible found it easier to look for work, according to studies by the Ohio Department of Medicaid and the University of MI. That demand was a rallying cry for Republicans during their unsuccessful attempts a year ago to repeal "Obamacare".

Ten states have asked the agency for flexibility in the Medicaid program, according to Verma.

About 20 percent of Americans rely on Medicaid, and the policy shift could have dramatic effects on them.

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Medicaid: Trump opens door for states to take away coverage from out-of-work Americans

In Iowa, there are 600,000 Medicaid recipients, about 40 percent of whom are aged between 22 to 64, according to the latest quarterly report from the state Department of Human Services.

"Now we have this sort of administrative wave, kind of building on whatever momentum you have in public favor to dismantle the program administratively", Callow said in a phone interview.

State lawmakers are now debating whether to extend the Medicaid expansion program beyond the end of 2018, when it is due to sunset. The main impact of the rules will be to subject poor people to stacks of paperwork that will drive some to drop coverage, the critics say.

Full operational implementation will depend upon many variables yet to be finalized, she said. "[It's also going] to help people in achieving greater well-being and self-sufficiency". Those who don't qualify for SSD or SSI would have to deal with state-level work requirements.

In his letter to state Medicaid directors, Neale writes that states should consider aligning the work requirements they already have for people who receive welfare and food stamps with their new Medicaid rules.

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The Trump administration is about to startletting states require many Medicaid recipients to work for their benefits. Additionally, the guidance details that states can not accrue savings from loss in enrollment due to work requirements, which means that states will need to pay for any work requirement administrative burden, such as determining if an individual is working, developing an enrollee reporting system and employment supportive services, etc.

The June poll shows that 70 percent of Americans would support the policy.

How the new policy affects providers is so far unknown.

"We believe that this guidance is illegal", she 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.

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Sovereign Hager, an attorney with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, said that the waiver New Mexico recently sent to the federal government does not include any provisions for work requirements.

The biggest group covered by Medicaid is children, who would not be forced to work under the new Trump policy.

The Jan. 11 CMS letter contains citations to some of the studies Verma said support that assertion.

But Baker aides say health care is different, and the governor does not support mandating a direct link between access to medical care and having a job.

Story one: Person with few job opportunities, no money-maybe with chronic mental or physical health problems including disabilities, maybe a previous incarceration, maybe stuck in a rural area, maybe a caregiver to his/her own family-depends on Medicaid to help stay financially afloat when a health crisis hits.

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