New Guidelines on Medicaid Work Requirements

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a guidance Thursday outlining what states need to do to mandate that certain Medicaid enrollees work to qualify for benefits.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma said on Twitter that the new efforts will "improve Medicaid enrollee health outcomes by incentivizing community engagement".

Pregnant women, children, the elderly and those in drug treatment would be excused.

The new plan sets the stage for a potentially long and contentious legal battle over the shape and goal of a health program that more than 70 million Americans now depend on. Many of them have jobs that don't provide health insurance.

The Trump administration wants Medicaid beneficiaries to prove they are working or participating in "community engagement activities", which like most such barriers is created to jettison people from the program. One of those states was Arkansas.

Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature domestic policy achievement commonly known as Obamacare, 31 states expanded Medicaid eligibility to include people making up to 138 percent of the poverty level as defined by the federal government, adding millions of Americans to the rolls.

Congressional efforts to repeal the ACA and the Trump administration's general stance in favor of cutting welfare programs are already potent arguments against ME taking the leap.

"This is about helping people rise out of poverty", Verma said Thursday in a conference call with reporters. A survey it conducted said 70 percent of Americans support such a requirement. "Those days are over".

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

"And then we find that that will be a challenge for some of our justice-involved patients, folks who are transitioning out of incarceration", said Platt.

Republican lawmakers who have demonized the program as welfare for "able-bodied adults" have long sought to require Medicaid beneficiaries to work.

More than 285,000 Arkansans were enrolled in the Medicaid program as of January 1. In order to waive provisions of federal Medicaid programs, states must submit proposals for "experimental, pilot, or demonstration projects" and have them approved by CMS. In the past, federal officials said work was not among those objectives.

Medicaid is the largest government health insurance program.

In Massachusetts, employers are facing a shortage of workers in a low unemployment economy and state officials are struggling to cover the cost of growing Medicaid enrollment in the face of threatened cuts in federal health care spending. They could also work as volunteers at food pantries and other charitable organizations.

States must describe how they'd help individuals meet the new Medicaid eligibility requirements and how they'd link them to additional job training resources.

These racial stereotypes are not only ugly and hateful, they also obscure the actual lived experiences of people who are covered by Medicaid.

And states are also required to make such accommodations for people with addiction to opioids and other substances. But it could also drive away Democrats who have staunchly opposed the concept.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service.

States are still awaiting formal approval of their requests.

But the new policy is exactly what some Republican governors were seeking.

But he indicated the state has its hands full for now dealing with other Medicaid issues.

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

Though participating in such activities would theoretically ensure their continued Medicaid benefits, Waligora worries that failure to comply with "onerous administrative requirements" could cause even those who are eligible to lose coverage.

"I think there would be a ton of opposition", Hager said.

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