Trump officials to allow work requirements for Medicaid

Nov. 8, 2017

The Trump administration will encourage states to pursue work requirements for certain Medicaid beneficiaries, a top official said Nov. 7.

The remarks by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma would signal a significant departure from the Obama administration’s approach to such requests.

Several states have already proposed work requirements, and Verma’s comments indicate a willingness to fast-track those approvals.

The Obama administration repeatedly said work requirements were inconsistent with Medicaid’s mission of providing healthcare to low-income people.

According to Verma, allowing states to impose work requirements is an essential part of granting them more flexibility. Making Medicaid beneficiaries work will ensure they bring themselves out of poverty.

“Let me be clear to everyone in this room, we will approve proposals that promote community engagement activities,” Verma said. She defined “community engagement activities” as working, receiving job training, going to school, or volunteering.

The speech was Verma’s most detailed explanation of the direction she wants to take the program. She also sharply criticized the Obama administration’s opposition to work requirements.

The Hill has the full story

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