NH GOP leaders plan to add Medicaid work requirement

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Beneficiaries range from pregnant women and newborns to elderly nursing home residents.

SHAPIRO: How much leeway will individual states that get this waiver have to determine what counts as able-bodied or what counts as employment or education?

The revisions would cut dental and vision coverage for many adults, although they can regain it by completing health-related activities, such as taking a disease management class or volunteering.

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. One of those states was Arkansas.

Kentucky is the first state to be allowed to impose work requirements in its Medicaid program, a change that Gov. Matt Bevin has pushed. Were you surprised when the letter went out from the Trump administration saying, OK, you can now apply to do this?

The bottom line: Though they may make for good political headlines, Medicaid work requirements are wasteful and ineffective.

"These attacks take the form of an array of cynical paperwork requirements created to take coverage away from people: new work documentation requirements and unprecedented new "lockouts" from coverage for people who do not submit reports on income changes or annual eligibility redetermination forms".

"However", he said, "we are concerned that the reporting system will become a burden on consumers and providers".

Sixty percent of Medicaid's non-elderly adults already work, according to a recent analysis of census data by the Kaiser Family Foundation. "Such programs should be created to promote better mental, physical, and emotional health in furtherance of Medicaid program objectives". About half of that number are either working or already in some sort of activity that qualifies, officials said.

The Trump administration gave the approval Friday. "For example, higher earnings are positively correlated with longer life span".

According to public health research that has been carried out, there is an interconnection between income and health.

Kentucky officials have projected between 90,000 and 95,000 fewer people will be in the Medicaid program by the end of five-year waiver period, initially saving $2.4 billion during that time. Others were looking for work. Instead, the Congresswoman stands ready to work with the Martinez Administration on strategies to increase economic growth and provide job training services to Medicaid beneficiaries in order to break the cycle of poverty in the State.

Medicaid has played a big role in combating the opioid epidemic, paying for a wide range of treatments and medications.

A survey Kaiser conducted past year said those who weren't working said it was because of an illness or disability, home or family responsibilities, pursuit of an education, retirement or inability to find a job. People receiving TANF cash assistance or SNAP food benefits who meet those programs' work requirements will be considered in compliance with Medicaid's rules.

In addition, people who are disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act but have Medicaid benefits for another reason could be exempted, or the state would be required to make "reasonable modifications" such as a reduced hourly requirement to ensure that the requirements don't disproportionately hurt people with disabilities. It also encourages an exemption for people who are deemed "medically frail".

In Kentucky, which expanded Medicaid, Republican state Sen.

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. This is not, as some would have you believe, a punitive action aimed at recipients. Critics of the changes say they subvert Medicaid's objective of providing health care to low-income people and that Congress would need to approve a new mission to push people towards employment.

The changes would also require beneficiaries who are covered by the work requirements to pay monthly premiums and would penalize them if they missed payments after 60 days.

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