On March 14, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services and CMS issued a letter to the nation's governors affirming the federal government's partnership with states to improve the integrity and effectiveness of the Medicaid program for low-income people with Medicaid.
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.
Requirements could involve forcing recipients to prove they are actively seeking work, volunteer their time to community service if they cannot find work, or undergo job training programs. "It will actually help this population reap the rewards of a good job, and one day receive health care coverage from their employer, not the state or federal government". The group believes work requirements would limit access to care and leave hospitals picking up the tab for uninsured patients. As I talk to Medicaid recipients, they want to get off public assistance; they want to have a better life. Notably, among adults with Medicaid coverage, almost 8 in 10 live in working families and a majority are working themselves. But, it said, states can not use federal Medicaid funds to pay for such "supportive services".
But Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Chairwoman Anitere Flores, R-Miami, said the Senate has not discussed requiring those now enrolled in the program to work.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said 10 states have submitted demonstration project proposals: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin. She said she would attempt to get answers from HSD officials, but did not respond before press time.More news: Seattle Seahawks reportedly hire Brian Schottenheimer as OC
An HHS official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official had not been authorized to discuss the developments, said the agency may approve Kentuckys request as early as Friday.
Currently, Medicaid recipients are not required to work or be employed to receive benefits.
Verma and other conservatives argue that forcing working-age Medicaid beneficiaries to work or seek work - a strategy used for years in other federally funded aid programs for the poor - will improve their health. Thats because children who make up almost half of Medicaid enrollees are excluded. Of those who were unemployed and did not qualify for Social Security disability, 36 percent cited a disability or illness as a reason, 15 percent said they were in school and 30 percent were caregivers.
Public Citizen agreed, calling the idea of work requirements "cruel, stupid and illegal".
Several Republican lawmakers have supported work requirements as a condition for Medicaid coverage for able-bodied people, but such changes were not allowed until Thursday's memo.More news: Pimco Municipal Income Fund Plans Monthly Dividend of $0.06 (NYSE:PMF)
Also protected would be Medicaid enrollees who are too ill to work, especially because of a drug addiction.
Many people can have physical or mental health problems - such as arthritis or asthma - that don't meet the criteria for federal disability programs, but still interfere with their ability to work, Kaiser said.
Pallone said that "the Trump administration's action today is cruel and a clear violation of both the Medicaid statute and longstanding congressional intent" for waivers that were meant to "allow states to expand access to Medicaid, not restrict it".
"The guidance was just released and we will assess accordingly as we do with any guidance, however the administration does not support applying work requirements to the MassHealth program", said Baker spokesman Brendan C. Moss.
Health policy experts were quick to argue that Trump's new policy will do precisely the opposite. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.More news: Guardiola Backs Man City To Survive Liverpool Test, Continue Unbeaten Run