The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has issued two new reports to help advocates push back on efforts by the federal government and states to establish work requirements for Medicaid:
Medicaid Work Requirement Would Harm Unemployed, Not Promote Work (CBPP report, 1/11/18)
“Sharply reversing longstanding federal policy, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that states may block some low-income adults from getting Medicaid coverage if they’re not working or participating in work-related activities. Under prior administrations, CMS (a part of the Department of Health and Human Services) rejected several state requests to tie Medicaid eligibility to such requirements, including Arizona’s 2016 request that CMS rejected because it “could undermine access to care and [does] not support the objectives of the Medicaid program.” CMS’ new guidance doesn’t provide a convincing rationale for the policy reversal, which could threaten Medicaid coverage for many adults and actually make it harder for some adults to succeed in the labor market due to their loss of health coverage.” See the full report here.
Kentucky Waiver Will Harm Medicaid Beneficiaries (CBPP report, 1/16/18)
“The Trump Administration’s approval of Kentucky’s demonstration project or “waiver” under section 1115 of the Social Security Act — which came just a day after the Administration announced that it would let states condition Medicaid coverage on work — confirms its intention to let states deviate from Medicaid rules in ways that will reduce the number of people with health coverage and make it harder for those covered to get care. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved Kentucky’s waiver under its new waiver criteria, which no longer include increasing and strengthening coverage or improving health outcomes for low-income people.” See the full report here.