"This new guidance paves the way for states to demonstrate how their ideas will improve the health of Medicaid beneficiaries, as well as potentially improve their economic well-being", CMS Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Brian Neale said.
"States will therefore be required to describe strategies to assist eligible individuals in meeting work and community engagement requirements and to link individuals to additional resources for job training, provided they do not use federal Medicaid funding to finance these services", CMS said. Iowa is not among them.
The new policy guidance sent to states is meant to help them design demonstration projects that promote the objectives of the Medicaid program and are consistent with federal statutory requirements.
In a statement released this afternoon, Baker's office said it "does not support applying work requirements to the MassHealth program". Pregnant women, children, the elderly and the disabled are exempted from the requirements. "There is a real risk of eligible people losing coverage due to their inability to navigate this process or miscommunication or other breakdowns in the administrative process", Musumeci said. If you're "able-bodied", the logic goes, you shouldn't be able to access a free health care program if you don't have a job and help pay into the public system that subsidizes such coverage.
Many patient advocates note that a small fraction of the people covered by Medicaid are of working age, non-disabled and now unemployed. Demonstrations, which give states additional flexibility to design and improve their programs, are also created to evaluate state-specific policy approaches and better serve Medicaid populations.
Supreme Court appears likely to approve Ohio's voter purging
Postal Service, as well as government tax records, census lists and motor-vehicle department databases, the challengers say. But even if he hadn't voted, Helle said opting not to cast a ballot should be a voter's choice and shouldn't be penalized.
Still, an official with the advocacy group Disability Rights Iowa expressed concern about the plan on Thursday. She quoted from a speech President Lyndon Johnson gave a half-century ago, when he said that Medicaid's aim " is not only to relieve the symptoms of poverty but cure it".
It's unknown when the waivers would be approved, but with the Trump administration giving its blessing, action could be soon, possibly within a matter of days for Kentucky, which filed the first application.
But critics said this move would take health care away from people who are struggling and it would be counterproductive. "People who participate in activities that increase their education and training are more likely to find sustainable employment, have higher earnings, a better quality of life, and, studies have shown, improved health outcomes".
Of Medicaid enrollees who didn't work in 2016, 36 percent were ill or disabled, 9 percent were retired, 30 percent were caretakers, 15 percent were going to school, 6 percent could not find work and 3 percent were in an other category, according to a December Kaiser Family Foundation report. Some 60% of non-disabled, working-age adults have jobs, while almost 80% live in families with at least one member in the labor force, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.
The idea of conditioning government benefits on "work activities" was cemented into welfare more than two decades ago, when a system of unlimited cash assistance was replaced by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families with its work requirements and time limits. A survey it conducted said 70 percent of Americans support such a requirement.