"The truth is, people are going to lose Medicaid coverage", he said. Kentucky applied for permission to do this in 2016, and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) said the "community engagement and employment initiative" will be gradually phased in later this year.
Implementing a workforce requirement would effectively remove an entire category of beneficiaries from the Medicaid rolls.
What's shocking about this is not that the Trump administration would fall in line with the misbegotten viewpoint that equates decent health care with welfare payments, it's that the experts at CMS would go along with this charade.
"We want to see people thrive and be healthier", Hamby said. While the administration tried to argue the policy prompted more of them to work and caused their wages to grow, employment records show only 34 percent were working a year after losing food stamps, up from 28 percent a year before.
More than 2 million people are on Medicaid in Kentucky, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is almost one quarter of the state's population.
Consumer advocates plan to challenge the change in court. However, they will not be allowed to use federal Medicaid funding to finance these services. Also off the hook are the more than 10 million enrollees who have a disability. "As a health care provider, PPINK believes that all Kentuckians deserve access to affordable, high-quality health care regardless of where they live or how much money they make".
Bevin also defended the program from criticism that it was essentially punishing lower income people, and insisted that the program will only impact those who are physically able to work. Medicaid covers over 70 million otherwise uninsured people, or about one in five Americans, and the majority of them are children, the elderly, and sick or disabled people. Former foster-care youth, pregnant women, primary caregivers of a dependent, beneficiaries considered medically frail and full-time students are exempt from the new requirements. They said their goal is to bring health care to the 300,000 Virginians who would benefit from expansion of Medicare and Medicaid.
The federal government has wide latitude to grant states such waivers.
Bevin celebrated federal approval Friday, calling it "a significant milestone on our journey to lead the nation in transforming Medicaid in a fiscally responsible way".
"The thought that a program designed for our most vulnerable citizens should be used as a vehicle to serve working-age, able-bodied adults does not make sense", she said at the time.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree is against the change.
Kevin de León, a Democrat and the leader of California's Senate, wouldn't comment on the proposal because he said it's a non-starter.
I am also concerned with the State's capacity to administer a Medicaid work requirement program, given issues regarding the implementation of the SNAP program and the CMS corrective action plan at the NM Human Services Department. Instead, many states try to help the poor better their health by giving them health insurance. Having the Medicaid beneficiaries working is not a guarantee that they will increase their income or get a job. In other words, Medicaid didn't originally cover nearly any able-bodied adults.
In a statement for the Center for American Progress, Executive Vice President for External Affairs Winnie Stachelberg said, "Ripping away health care from people who have lost their jobs will not create a single job, raise anyone's wages, or help anyone who is struggling to find work".