Gov. LePage, Rep. Poliquin applaud Medicaid work requirement decision

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The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on Thursday that it would allow individual states to require certain people to work in order to receive Medicaid.

The Trump administration initiative is "designed to assist states in their efforts to improve Medicaid enrollee health and well-being by incentivizing work and community engagement among non-elderly, non-pregnant adult Medicaid beneficiaries who are eligible for Medicaid on a basis other than disability", according to the Department of Health and Human Services paper.

The waivers with work requirements will still see heavy political pushback, and there will probably be legal challenges. The office plans to take a close look at how their waiver can align with the new federal guidelines.

Callow says the new policy will especially affect those who fall into a gray area of disability - those who don't get Medicaid disability benefits, but are still too sick to work.

Health insurance reforms initiated during Barack Obama's presidency raised the income cap for access to Medicaid, allowing millions of low-income earners to join the Medicaid rolls.

A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found 60 percent of non disabled, working-age adults on Medicaid have jobs and at least 80 percent live in a home with at least one member working.

"People who participate in activities that increase their education and training are more likely to find sustainable employment, have higher earnings [and] a better quality of life", Verma said.

Homeless people, former foster children and American Indians are among individuals who would be exempt from Arizona's proposed Medicaid work requirements, the state's application says.

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"CMS's decision to allow Medicaid eligibility to be based on work status is another example of the Trump administration walking away from our nation's core values".

It found that almost half of them already work, and that 11 percent were unable to work. 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. And it includes a definition of "medically frail" and says that states must exempt any individual with an acute medical condition - as validated by a physician - from complying with the requirement, he added. Damon Thayer said work requirements could lessen the program's impact on the state budget.

The rules would only apply to people who apply for health coverage through the state's expanded Medicaid program, which now covers roughly 50,000 residents.

Unlike the 1996 rewrite of welfare law, which explicitly mentions work as a goal, Medicaid's law contains no such element, and critics contend rules that could deny people coverage contradict its objectives.

"This action by the Trump administration goes after people who are just trying to get by", Democratic U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of OR said.

To that end, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Thursday both calcified its support for work-requirement waivers and offered guidance to states that might be drawing up such proposals. "Governor Scott will review any bill that reaches his desk", she said in an email. And people on Medicaid are often dealing with crises - they may move a lot, or change phone numbers, making them hard to track down. The state's proposal would require Medicaid beneficiaries to work, job search, or care for someone with a disability for 20 hours per week. The failed efforts in the House to replace Obamacare included a work requirement for Medicaid.

While more than half of Medicaid recipients are children, there are still millions of adults who could face work requirements under the new CMS criteria.

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