President Donald Trump allows USA states work rules for Medicaid enrollees

Trump to let states require employment for Medicaid

The new policy guidance sent to states is meant to help them design demonstration projects that promote the objectives of the Medicaid program and are consistent with federal statutory requirements. A study in December in JAMA Internal Medicine found that about half of the Medicaid recipients in MI were already working. Another 12 percent were students, homemakers or retirees. Without health insurance, individuals may forgo needed services, and their health may deteriorate to a point that interferes with their ability to work.

A full summary of the findings is available here.

Ten states, including ME and New Hampshire, had sent proposals to the federal government seeking the controversial change. States should take these issues - as well as recipients' employability - into consideration and allow for modifications or exemptions, the agency said.

Under Kentucky's waiver application, for instance, people on Medicaid would be required to report income changes within 10 days, noted Cara Stewart of the Kentucky Equal Justice Center. That could include job training, career planning or volunteer activities.

Verma also had a major role in designing an unorthodox approach to Medicaid in IN, which had asked the Obama administration to approve a work requirement.

The injury left her unable to work, and while she applies for disability, she is reliant on Medicaid for treatment and believes the proposed work requirements would directly affect her.

States will be required to describe strategies to assist recipients in meeting the requirements and to link them to job training and support resources, including child care and transportation.

"Access to Medicaid makes it easier for people to look for work and obtain employment", says Suzanne Wikle of the Center for Law and Social Policy.

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Advocates for low-income people expressed dismay.

Medicaid is the nation's largest public insurance program, providing health benefits to almost 74 million Americans, chiefly low-income adults.

Unlike the 1996 rewrite of welfare law, which explicitly mentions work as a goal, Medicaid's law contains no such element, and critics contend rules that could deny people coverage contradict its objectives.

Cuello said the argument that work promotes health is "totally contorted". About 80% of Medicaid enrollees under the age of 65 are already in working families; part of the reason is Obamacare's optional Medicaid expansion for working poor adults who don't have children (prior to the expansion, you often had to be poor and have kids in order to qualify for Medicaid).

The guidance represents a fundamental and much-disputed recalibration of the compact between the government and poor Americans for whom Medicaid coverage provides a crucial pathway to health care. Jane Hudson, executive director of the organization, said she is concerned about what would constitute a disability. IN rewrote its waiver request last summer, this time asking for federal permission to compel work activities.

The new regulations' supporters argue that it's a common sense idea.

All the policy will do, Berg said, is increase bureaucracy and paperwork, "supposedly from the small government people", because it will force working people to leave work, or those on a job search to stop searching and have to go to a government office to fill out a form to show they are working or searching for a job.

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