Millions of Medicaid recipients already work

Trump administration allow work requirements in Medicaid 1112018

So are the more than 10 million people on Medicaid because they have a disability.

But Democrats and many advocates are pushing back on the guidance, arguing people will lose coverage if they don't meet the requirements or the requirements will lead some not to apply because the process may become too cumbersome.

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. "It is about taking away health insurance from low-income people".

"A$3 growing body of evidence suggests that targeting certain health determinants, including productive work and community engagement, may improve health outcomes" the letter says.

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.

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said, "Imposing a work requirement to be eligible for Medicaid not only fails to further the goal of providing healthcare, but also undermines the underlying objective".

Republican lawmakers who have demonized the program as welfare for "able-bodied adults" have long sought to require Medicaid beneficiaries to work.

Republican candidate Scott Wagner, a York County state senator and businessman, supports the work requirement guidelines outlined, said his campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo.

The National Association of Medicaid Directors, a nonpartisan group representing state officials, said in a statement there's no consensus on whether work requirements are the right approach. The administration's bid to cut the program under the guise of mobility-enhancing work requirements must be seen for what it is.

The Trump administration said that states imposing work requirements must have plans to help people meet those requirements and should help arrange job training, child care and transportation as needed.

The Trump administration wants Medicaid beneficiaries to prove they are working or participating in "community engagement activities", which like most such barriers is created to jettison people from the program.

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"Liberals find Medicaid work requirements repugnant because they believe that Medicaid beneficiaries want to work if they can, and that providing health coverage to people who cannot afford it is an obligation of any moral nation", Altman wrote.

Of Medicaid enrollees who didn't work in 2016, 36 percent were ill or disabled, 9 percent were retired, 30 percent were caretakers, 15 percent were going to school, 6 percent could not find work and 3 percent were in an other category, according to a December Kaiser Family Foundation report.

The Trump administration on Wednesday sent a letter to state Medicaid directors announcing a policy to authorize work requirements for states with what are known as "Medicaid 1115 waivers".

Together, these data indicate that hundreds of thousands of able-bodied Nevadans receive Medicaid coverage without having to work.

Nearly two-thirds of Medicaid recipients nationally are children, elderly or disabled, and will be exempt from the new requirements. And opponents quickly cried foul, arguing that the move would harm the poor. That still leaves millions who appear to be able to work. And many adults covered by Medicaid who are not working have commitments like caring for relatives, are pursuing an education, or have an illness or disability that prevents them from working.

Not only does it have a new Medicaid director, but the state is searching for at least one other company to help manage its privatized system, which has been coming under sharp criticism.

In its guidance to states, CMS said they should consider how some communities have high unemployment rates and whether enrollees need to care for young children or elderly relatives.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's office and the state's Department of Healthcare and Family Services said the new policy and its implications are "under review", but the Republican administration has not signaled whether it supports Medicaid work requirements.

"This policy move does not include a single penny to job training, does not add a penny to job placement, does not add a penny to job creation", Berg remarked.

People who actually care about health care policy, and not about wedging the poor and frail into a character in some sort of cheap morality play, are predictably aghast.

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