Trump Administration Paves Way For Ohio's Medicaid Work Requirement

Trump Administration Paves Way For Ohio's Medicaid Work Requirement

Trump Administration Paves Way For Ohio's Medicaid Work Requirement

The Trump administration told US states on Thursday they can for the first time move toward imposing work or job training requirements on people as a condition for obtaining health insurance under the Medicaid government program for the poor.

Medicaid, the government's largest health insurance program, covers more than 70 million people.

The directive spells out who is excluded from the new work requirements, including children and the elderly, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and people being treated for opioid abuse. Besides employment, it can include job training, volunteering or caring for a close relative.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced new guidelines Thursday created to help state implement work and volunteer requirements for "able-bodied" Medicaid recipients.

The Trump administration issued new guidance to states Thursday, allowing for a path to compel some individuals to work or prepare for work to receive medical benefits under a joint state-federal program. As I talk to Medicaid recipients, they want to get off public assistance; they want to have a better life.

'Medicaid is a health program that is supposed to serve people who don't otherwise have coverage'. It allowed states to provide coverage to anyone earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $16,600 for an individual). 36% said they were ill or disabled, 9% said they were retired, and 30% said they were taking care of family or their home. Advocates for low-income people say they expect Kentucky's waiver to be approved shortly. Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, first sought to add such a provision in 2016. To qualify for a waiver, a state must provide a convincing justification that its experiment would "further the objectives" of Medicaid. More than half of which are children.

Many Medicaid recipients are already employed.

Critics, however, argue that Republicans are using work requirements to thin the Medicaid rolls. The work requirements will likely be challenged in court. Thursday the Trump Administration announced it's encouraging states to add these requirements for able-bodied adults.

"I have personally talked to the Trump administration and asked for an expedited review, and I get full assurances we will get their full priority", Lambeth said. The failed efforts in the House to replace Obamacare included a work requirement for Medicaid. The work requirements are part of the state's request to the federal government for an exception to contract out both physical and behavioral health to private companies.

"CMS recognizes that a broad range of social, economic, and behavioral factors can have a major impact on an individual's health and wellness, and a growing body of evidence suggests that targeting certain health determinants, including productive work and community engagement, may improve health outcomes", said the Centers for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) Director Brian Neale.

The Trump Administration moved Thursday to allow states to impose work requirements on their Medicaid programs for the first time, the latest adjustment of the nation's health-care system through administrative action after Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare failed past year.

"The governor believes that Medicaid is an important safety net for many Iowans, and her hope is that those on the program who are able-bodied are able to find a career and re-enter the workforce", Smith said in an email. Those states include Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, Arizona, Indiana, and Utah.

Calling the new policy "unconscionable and illegal", Eliot Fishman, senior health policy director at the liberal consumer health lobby Families USA, said in a statement: "Today's announcement isn't about work". It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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