Kentucky Gets OK To Require Work From Medicaid Recipients

Kentucky Gets OK To Require Work From Medicaid Recipients

Kentucky Gets OK To Require Work From Medicaid Recipients

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".

Bevin's proposal includes requiring numerous state's Medicaid enrollees to perform some kind of "community engagement" - work, volunteer service, job training or education. In addition, Kentucky HEALTH will ensure availability of Medicaid resources to our most vulnerable citizens by saving an initial estimated $2 billion dollars (federal and state) over the waiver demonstration period, allowing these funds to be focused on those most in need and other critical areas.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a work-search requirement passed previous year by the Republican-controlled state Legislature.

The red tape associated with work requirements also adds a new burden on the agencies that administer Medicaid benefits, Musumeci noted.

Dr. Richard Pan, a California state senator and pediatrician in Sacramento who sees Medicaid patients, said the idea just "doesn't make sense".

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There are about 4 million people enrolled in Florida's Medicaid program, making it the fourth largest in the nation in terms of population, according to Medicaid Director Beth Kidder.

The CMS guidelines give states wide latitude in enacting work requirements, and state rules may differ on who gets exempted from the mandate.

It is unclear how enrollees will prove they meet such criteria or if states will use the honor system. The federal government defines "medically-frail" as people with serious physical, mental, substance abuse or behavioral health conditions.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma recused herself from the Kentucky decision because she had worked with state officials on the waiver request when she was a consultant before joining the Trump administration. A report from the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in July 2016 found that illness or disability are the top reasons why poor people, particularly adults without children, are not working. But in a speech to the nation's Medicaid directors in November, Verma said adding non-disabled adults to Medicaid was a mistake for a program created to help children, the disabled and pregnant women.

Some Democratic-leaning states are not expected to make the change.

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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 and elderly families. Association spokesman Danny Chun says the "main concern is that people have coverage".

"I'm a little anxious that we are going to not be able to hold all of the people because so many people want to come and be a part of this", Bobo said.

Republicans attempted to bring in work requirements a year ago during their failed attempt to repeal Obamacare.

Many people insured through Medicaid are working low-income jobs with unpredictable and irregular hours.

Beyond the opioid crisis, the new policy also threatens a range of low-income people.

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