Trump Admin May Let States Impose Medicaid Work Requirements

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March 15, 2017 10:32 a.m.

The Trump administration is considering giving states more flexibility in implementing Medicaid, such as allowing states to create work requirements for residents benefitting from that program, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma sent a letter to governors on Tuesday saying that they would work with states on waivers allowing them to make changes to Medicaid implementation, according to the report. The Journal also reported that Price was set to discuss the waivers with governors Tuesday evening.

The letter from Price and Verma did not spell out exactly what program changes would be allowed through the waivers, but signaled that the Trump administration may approve waivers imposing work requirements on some Medicaid recipients, per the Wall Street Journal.

Through waivers, states could narrow eligibility for Medicaid by imposing work requirements and/or moving the bar for what incomes qualify for the program. States could also require Medicaid recipients to pay premiums or co-pays for emergency room visits.

The promise of waivers could bring some Republicans on board with the legislation to repeal Obamacare currently working its way through the House without requiring changes to be made to the bill.

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