NH GOP leaders plan to add Medicaid work requirement
Jan 13 2018 by Desiree Burns
As quoted in the New York Times "Representative Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey, the senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, 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, which he said were meant to 'allow states to expand access to Medicaid, not restrict it.'" And Brad Woodhouse of Protect Our Care, an advocacy group that supports the Affordable Care Act, called work requirements "the latest salvo of the Trump administration's war on health care". Rep. Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park, introduced a bill that would have required all Medicaid beneficiaries who are part of the state's "managed medical assistance" program to adhere to the same work requirements that now apply to families who receive temporary cash assistance.
Thousands of poor adults in Kentucky will have to find jobs and pay monthly premiums to retain their Medicaid coverage as a result of drastic changes to the state's health insurance program approved Friday by the Trump administration.
However some IL patient advocates say they hope the state doesn't submit a proposal to make having a job a condition of Medicaid eligibility, citing fears it would leave people without health insurance. Reuters noted that decision to allow work requirements faces probable legal challenges.
States would have the flexibility to identify activities other than employment that promote health and wellness and could include community service, caregiving or job training.
The goal is to increase employment among Medicaid recipients.
Medicaid is one of the largest expenses from the state's General Fund, with $8.4 billion of almost $32 billion in state spending paying for the program.
Before coming to Washington a year ago, Verma was a health consultant who worked with IN and Kentucky to expand Medicaid under the ACA.
"It's going to make administration a lot more complicated, and it's going to create a lot more red tape", said Robyn Merrill from Maine Equal Justice Partners. Or they're caring for a child or family member, or they're sick or disabled.
Six percent were looking for work.
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Mandating work requirements has been a long-standing priority for conservatives, and the Trump administration announcement reverses previous policies that prevented states from requiring Medicaid beneficiaries to work to qualify for the program.
The majority of enrollees in Medicaid are children, pregnant women and elderly nursing home residents.
Kentucky's program would require non-disabled adults each month to participate in 80 hours of work, job training, education or other qualified "community engagement".
Many Medicaid recipients are already employed.
"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.
Bradley said a work requirement was already in the 2016 Medicaid expansion bill. Officials in several other states have said they are interested in the idea.
In a 10-page letter to state Medicaid directors, CMS Director Brian Neale announced the new federal approach, "designed to assist states in their efforts to improve Medicaid enrollee health and well-being through incentivizing work and community engagement".
Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is also contrary to HHS's claim that "work requirements" promote work. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.