The federal government paved the way for the approval on Thursday, when it announced it would allow work requirements as a condition for Medicaid coverage. The policy change should help people find jobs that offer health coverage or make enough money to afford private plans, she said. Kaiser polling past year found that 70 percent of the public support allowing states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, even as most people in the US were against deep Medicaid cuts sought by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration.
The debate about work requirements doesn't break neatly along liberal-conservative lines.
CMS said states would have to test whether the work requirement improves enrollees' health - a point Solomon ridiculed.
Meanwhile, many of those who don't work are going to school or caring for children or other family members, and many others are ill or disabled but haven't been able to officially qualify for federal disability insurance.
Verma, who has said she doesn't think Medicaid should become a way of life for people who are not disabled, said the new guidance shows how the administration is trying to give states more flexibility in running Medicaid. The new Medicaid proposals are a small step in this desirable direction.More news: US Ambassador To Panama Says He Cannot Serve Trump, Resigns
Many people insured through Medicaid are working low-income jobs with unpredictable and irregular hours.
Despite their concerns about the change in Medicaid policy, critics of the plan acknowledge that it will touch only a fraction of the nation's total enrollment. Solomon estimates that fewer than 2 percent of the 74 million people covered would be directly affected by a work requirement.
Still, critics fear a work requirement could have a chilling effect on people signing up for Medicaid or make it harder for people to get coverage. Besides employment, it can include job training, volunteering or caring for a close relative.
Thursday's administration guidance to states spells out safeguards that states should consider in seeking work requirements. The federal government provides a little more than half of the program's overall cost, and state taxpayers the rest, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Certain groups are exempt, including former foster-care youth, pregnant women, primary caregivers of a dependent, full-time students, the disabled and the medically frail.
"The thought that a program designed for our most vulnerable citizens should be used as a vehicle to serve working-age, able-bodied adults does not make sense", she said at the time. If they don't, they'll have until a state-determined date to make up those hours. Most of those states (KY, IN, AZ, AR, KS, ME, NH, NC, UT, WI) have already undertaken an Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, thereby bringing into the program childless, able-bodied adults who are above the poverty line.More news: Illinois AG candidate robbed at gunpoint in Chicago during campaign photoshoot
"Today's attack on Medicaid is just the latest salvo of the Trump Administration's 2018 war on health care", Brad Woodhouse, director of the pro-ObamaCare group Protect Our Care, said in a statement. And the proportion of doctors taking at least as many Medicaid as privately insured patients climbed nearly 6 percentage points to about 56 percent.
Second, it is not really a work requirement.
The Trump Administration is clearing the way for states to attach work requirements for Medicaid. This is a bit ironic because those welfare work requirements were loosened by President Obama, to the vocal dismay of his opponents. They will need to "see all of details from states", he said.
Beyond the opioid crisis, the new policy also threatens a range of low-income people. "Such programs may also, separately, be created to help individuals and families rise out of poverty and attain independence, also in furtherance of Medicaid program objectives".More news: White House Says Judge's Temporary Block On Removing DACA Is 'Outrageous'