State expects green light to require some Medicaid recipients to work

Stupid or evil

Stupid or evil

IN is likely to get approval soon. That leaves plenty of chances to fall through the cracks of a work requirement. From Indianapolis, Side Effects Public Media's Jake Harper reports.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a work-search requirement passed past year by the Republican-controlled state Legislature. "We know from studies that this kind of requirement doesn't work; it doesn't help people get jobs". And Virginia House and Senate Democrats announced Thursday that Medicaid expansion is their top goal for this legislative session. Those insurers said they remain concerned that as the work mandate unfolds, their jobs might become harder because of increased churn in enrollment and administrative work. When you consider those exemptions.

For example, she said, time spent in medical treatment for opioid addiction might be counted toward compliance with a state's work requirement.

The Health and Human Services Department outlined how states could reshape the program in a directive. And those programs are expensive.

Is getting your high blood pressure treated or cancer detected really a disincentive to work? And the federal government has said, we won't pay any of those costs.

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said "the Trump administration's action today is cruel and a clear violation of both the Medicaid statute and long-standing congressional intent" for waivers, which he said were meant to "allow states to expand access to Medicaid, not restrict it". So what that does is create a hurdle for everybody on Medicaid.

Critics say the work requirement proposal - which was repeatedly rejected by the Obama administration on the argument it would interfere with providing health coverage - is a more subtle way to reduce the number of non-disabled adults added to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Requiring recipients to work would be illegal because it is not consistent with Medicaid's objectives, said Leonardo Cuello, health policy director of the National Health Law Program.

"We look forward to welcoming eligible Kentucky HEALTH members to our Kentucky Career Centers, and helping them gain the skills necessary to fill the hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs that are available in the Commonwealth right now", Heiner said.

ADAM MUELLER: Somewhere along the way paperwork gets lost, there's a miscommunication.

"Folks have sometimes had difficulty proving something as easy as residency", he said.

HARPER: And he says people on Medicaid often deal with crises. While the administration tried to argue the policy prompted more of them to work and caused their wages to grow, employment records show only 34 percent were working a year after losing food stamps, up from 28 percent a year before. What's the point in denying health care other than cruelty or population reduction? It also states explicitly that states can't get federal Medicaid money for services like childcare and transportation that people might need to get back to work.

Gov. Matt Bevin said on Friday that the federal government had approved Kentucky's "transformational" Medicaid overhaul, which adds insurance premiums and work requirements for "able-bodied" recipients.

Health advocates and state officials across the country had been watching closely to see whether Kentucky would win approval for its program. And until now, the federal government agreed.

Yarmuth in a press release called the move "an unconscionable attack on our state's health".

With federal approval of our Medicaid waiver, Kentucky will lead the nation in constructive changes to Medicaid.

SUSAN JO THOMAS: I don't know that it jives with my view of Medicaid, but my view of Medicaid now is irrelevant. Current CMS Administrator Seema Verma designed the Kentucky program when she was a consultant but recused herself from the application.

"CMS has not previously approved a community engagement requirement as a condition of eligibility", the agency's approval letter said.

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