Gov. Reynolds is 'reviewing' Trump administration guidance on Medicaid work requirements

Gov. Reynolds is 'reviewing' Trump administration guidance on Medicaid work requirements

Gov. Reynolds is 'reviewing' Trump administration guidance on Medicaid work requirements

After the Trump administration's announcement Thursday that it would allow states to impose work requirements on "able-bodied" Medicaid recipients, some Pennsylvania lawmakers are taking another look at trying to bring those requirements to the Keystone State.

ME had filed a request with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last spring to receive a waiver that would allow the state to set requirements for work, volunteering or other approved activities as a condition of receiving Medicaid.

Sununu said Thursday that work requirements offer opportunities to lifting individuals out of poverty and empower them with the dignity of work and self-reliability while also allowing states to control the costs of their Medicaid programs.

Verma also said that any drop in Medicaid rolls as a result of work requirements would stem from people no longer needing it. The demonstration projects will be done by Section 1115 Medicaid waivers as under current law, states can not impose a work requirement as a condition of Medicaid eligibility.

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

But it makes suggestions for states as to what counts as work, including state work programs, job training, volunteering, or caring for a relative.

"People who participate in activities that increase their education and training are more likely to find sustainable employment, have higher earnings [and] a better quality of life", Verma said. She quoted from a speech President Lyndon Johnson gave a half-century ago, when he said that Medicaid's aim " is not only to relieve the symptoms of poverty but cure it".

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Sixty percent of Medicaid's non-elderly adults already work, according to a recent analysis of census data by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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.

"The governor believes that Medicaid is an important safety net for many Iowans, and her hope is that those on the program who are able-bodied are able to find a career and re-enter the workforce".

For instance, the guidance notes that some Medicaid recipients may have trouble meeting these requirements because of poor health, substance abuse or high unemployment in their areas. "There is a real risk of eligible people losing coverage due to their inability to navigate this process or miscommunication or other breakdowns in the administrative process", Musumeci said. For low-wage workers, such as waitresses with fluctuating wages, "it boggles my mind", Stewart said.

Democrats are opposed to the changes and are expected to sue, arguing the administration does not have the power to make them without action from Congress, a view shared by Joel Berg, CEO of the New York-based nonprofit Hunger Free America. 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. "Although the details on Maine's waiver request still must be worked out, this decision by CMS is a critical first step".

In a statement released this afternoon, Baker's office said it "does not support applying work requirements to the MassHealth program".

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