CMS push for Medicaid work requirements likely to be challenged in court


A University of MI team recently published data in JAMA Internal Medicine from detailed survey of more than 4,000 MI residents enrolled in the state's expanded Medicaid program.

Under our proposal, people who receive Medicaid and are able bodied will need to work, be training for a new career, or volunteer.

American College of Physicians (ACP) president Jack Ende, MD, said the result of this new policy will be restricting Medicaid eligibility in a statement opposing work requirements. "[It's also going] to help people in achieving greater well-being and self-sufficiency".

In the end, Altman said, the change likely won't have a significant difference given that 59% of Medicaid recipients already work and those that don't are likely in the exempted categories.

The change was the most popular among potential changes to Medicaid, including requiring beneficiaries to undergo drug tests (64 percent). A study found the proposal would reduce the number of residents on Medicaid by almost 86,000 within five years, saving more than $330 million.

Currently, Medicaid expenditures represent about 40 percent of the state's $40 billion budget, although MA will be reimbursed by the federal government for perhaps half of those costs. An analysis at the by Rosenbaum for the Commonwealth Fund on Thursday noted that several of the 10 states who had submitted work requirement plans projected they would reduce coverage.

The Trump administration claims that 10 states have applied for waivers to include work or community involvement requirements as prerequisites to receive Medicaid, according to NBC News.

Full operational implementation will depend upon many variables yet to be finalized, she said.

Maine Voters Chose Medicaid Expansion. That leaves plenty of chances to fall through the cracks of a work requirement.

Kentucky, which has some of the poorest counties in the country, has seen its Medicaid enrollment double in the past three years after the state expanded eligibility under the ACA.

Some conservatives, like the Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector, have also opposed work requirements in the past, arguing people who lose coverage will likely cost the government more via unpaid emergency room bills. Thats because children — who make up almost half of Medicaid enrollees — are excluded. Medicaid is a fundamental avenue for health care for numerous nation's poor.

Beyond the opioid crisis, the new policy also threatens a range of low-income people. Leonardo Cuello, the National Health Law Program's health policy director, told the Washington Post that they would be looking "very, very closely to the legal options" if CMS approves work requirements, adding that the policy shift is "not a good idea, and it's illegal". Bottom line: "total failure to justify how requiring work promotes #Medicaid's objectives", she added. The decision may mean some changes for the Ohio's Medicaid program. Work requirements played a major role in driving that decline.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, public support for a work requirement for Medicaid is high. The Trump administration has stuck to its guns on opposing entitlement reform, and Republicans don't have anywhere near enough votes in the Senate to make a go of it anyway.

Protesters block a street during a demonstration against the Republican push to replace Obamacare in June 2016.

Plus, state Medicaid agencies won't get any additional federal funding to help recipients find and hold jobs, even though they are generally not equipped to develop, provide, and administer work support programs, said MaryBeth Musumeci, associate director of Kaiser's Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, speaks during a news conference in Newark, N.J. The Trump administration says it's offering a path for states that want to seek work requirements for Medicaid recipients.