Trump to let states require employment for Medicaid

Trump to let states require employment for Medicaid

Ten states - Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin - have already sent in proposals for work requirements for Medicaid, according to CMS, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Federal Medicaid laws do not permit work requirements". A study in December in JAMA Internal Medicine found that about half of the Medicaid recipients in MI were already working. "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.

Lynne said Colorado has no plans for a work requirement, which would require new legislation and years of implementation, as well as potentially be a burden for employers. It is a means tested program managed at state level and jointly funded by state and federal government.

MaryBeth Musumeci, an associate director for the Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured at the Washington-based Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy think tank, said the red tape will be a barrier to health care.

States will be required to offer reasonable modifications to individuals with disabilities and will be required to exempt individuals determined to be medically frail or who have an acute condition that a medical professional has determined will prevent them from complying with the requirements, CMS said.

If work requirements have the same impact in Medicaid, that will weaken the Medicaid expansion, furthering a key administration goal.

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"If I can keep getting medical care, I am sure I can go back to being a productive member of society", she said. "People who participate in activities that increase their education and training are more likely to find sustainable employment, have higher earnings, a better quality of life, and, studies have shown, improved health outcomes".

But opponents to tying Medicaid to work argue that good health leads to the ability to hold down a job.

"This new attack on Medicaid has nothing to do with program integrity, and everything to do with the recently revealed step-by-step Trump administration plot to wage war on our health care". "While high-quality health care is important for an individual's health and well-being, there are many other determinants of health". "We want to give states as much flexibility as possible because that's where we'll be able to evaluate what actually works best".

In an address to Medicaid directors in November, Verma said that with Medicaid being an open-ended entitlement, the program and spending have grown.

CMS said the work and community engagement policy is for working-age, non-pregnant Medicaid beneficiaries who are not eligible for Medicaid on the basis of a disability.

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"Working doesn't make people healthy".

Health insurance reforms initiated during Barack Obama's presidency raised the income cap for access to Medicaid, allowing millions of low-income earners to join the Medicaid rolls.

The administration, by encouraging states to impose changes that will eliminate coverage for large numbers of low-income residents, threatens to reverse these gains. That could include job training, career planning or volunteer activities.

About 75 percent of people on Medicaid in Colorado do work, and the remaining people are mostly disabled or caregivers for children or relatives who would have to jump through new hoops with a work requirement to get the care they need.

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