Trump to let states require employment for Medicaid

Trump to let states require employment for Medicaid

Trump to let states require employment for Medicaid

Donald Trump's administration moved Thursday to let states require that able-bodied adults work in order to receive health care benefits through Medicaid, a pillar of the U.S. social safety net.

To date, CMS has received demonstration project proposals from 10 states that include employment and community engagement initiatives: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.

"States will therefore be required to describe strategies to assist eligible individuals in meeting work and community engagement requirements and to link individuals to additional resources for job training, provided they do not use federal Medicaid funding to finance these services", CMS said. It has also helped people work: Studies of Medicaid expansion in OH and MI found that the majority of beneficiaries said that getting health coverage helped them look for work or remain employed.

The Trump Administration is clearing the way for states to attach work requirements for Medicaid, an announcement that sparked outrage among health care advocates.

Such regulations are already in place for most recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

But she said a work requirement hasn't been on her radar "because I've been completely focused on restructuring the Medicaid program and making it sustainable for MA".

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

A study from the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly 60% of working-age adults on Medicaid are already employed.

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.

"Most people have something to contribute to their community through either work or volunteering, and people who can contribute should do so", LePage said. Many people will go without preventive screenings, put off going to the doctor when sick and risk medical bankruptcies, she said.

"Working doesn't make people healthy".

And states are also required to make such accommodations for people with addiction to opioids and other substances.

The move is already amassing vocal critics.

"I think we're building a country of some people who have gotten to the point they feel very comfortable living off of the government", Moul said. For low-wage workers, such as waitresses with fluctuating wages, "it boggles my mind", Stewart said.

The Obama administration opposed the demands by the states. She was an architect of Kentucky's waiver application once a Democratic governor who had eagerly embraced the ACA was succeeded by Matt Bevin, a Republican who campaigned on a pledge to reverse the program expansion there.

"This policy move does not include a single penny to job training, does not add a penny to job placement, does not add a penny to job creation", Berg remarked.

Asked whether Gov. Kim Reynolds might pursue a work requirement, a spokesperson, Brenna Smith, said Thursday that "the governor is reviewing and considering the guidelines that just came out today".

Verma has recused herself from ruling on those two states' requests but has imported the ideas behind them into the new federal policy.

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