Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Trump administration allows states to make Medicaid recipients work

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Ellis Copeland | 13 January, 2018, 05:27

The announcement about the waiver being approved comes just one day after the U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) announced Thursday it will authorize "community engagement" requirements that Kentucky and a half-dozen other states are seeking to make a part of their Medicaid program. Alternatively, she said, states could exempt people from the work requirement if they were participating in "intensive medical treatment" for addiction.

But Bevin dismissed such comments and said the plan will transform Medicaid.

The Trump administration has swiftly followed through on its promise Thursday to grant approval for states to impose work requirements on their Medicaid programs, giving Kentucky a green light Friday afternoon.

"I think that's geared toward Obamacare expansion, not to our plan since we didn't expand", Corcoran said of imposing work requirements.

Advocates say the changes will cause up to 95,000 Kentuckians to lose Medicaid health coverage, according to the administration's own calculations.

The historic move would be a significant change in how the government health insurance program operates and would fulfill a longtime Republican goal.

A chart included in the waiver application shows the state expects enrollment to drop by tens of thousands of people over the course of five years due to the new rules. That works out to be about $16,000 in annual earnings for an individual or about $32,000 for a family of four.

"We believe that Medicaid expansion is an opportunity and that we have a great chance to make it happen this year".

Health insurance reforms initiated during Barack Obama's presidency raised the income cap for access to Medicaid, allowing millions of low-income earners to join the Medicaid rolls.

CMS Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Brian Neale applauded Kentucky's efforts.

CMS told Bevin's office Friday that the agency had approved Kentucky's request and appreciated "the spirit of partnership" between the state and the agency. What's the point in denying health care other than cruelty or population reduction?

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With federal approval of our Medicaid waiver, Kentucky will lead the nation in constructive changes to Medicaid.

"By approving Governor Bevin's unsafe and irresponsible Medicaid waiver, the Trump administration has agreed to end health coverage for 95,000 Kentuckians". "Kentucky HEALTH is specifically tailored with the unique needs of Kentuckians in mind".

But people rarely make them because someone else forced them to. Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, first sought to add such a provision in 2016.

The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, too, sharply criticized Bevin's actions.

"Rather than saving monies, the waiver creates new costs in expensive bureaucratic systems and reductions in the health of our workforce", Pugel added. Kentucky will lock beneficiaries out of coverage for noncompliance. "They also are a very bad policy for making sure people get health care". Though aides to the Kentucky governor estimate about half of the state's working-age and able-bodied Medicaid recipients will already meet the new requirements.

"No matter how it's packaged, Kentucky HEALTH is not about giving Kentuckians back their dignity - because they already have that".

When government handouts go to layabouts, it's not surprising that some people get angry.

Pugel said that sounds good in theory, but the reality would be different. That's because children - who make up almost half of Medicaid enrollees - are excluded.

"It will indeed become the model for the nation - mark my words", Bevin said Friday.

"This gives us a pathway to start approving waivers", Verma said on a call with reporters on Wednesday.

Most recipients of Medicaid in Kentucky will also pay a premium based on their income. The study also focused on pediatricians in private practice, not at community clinics or safety net facilities.

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