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Battle Over Obamacare
weekly primer
May 15, 2018

Weekly Primer: The Administration’s Zeal For Medicaid Work Requirements Has Limits

The Trump administration’s zeal for making low-income people work for their health care is running headlong into federal civil rights laws. At least three GOP-controlled states have asked the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for permission to impose work requirements on their Medicaid programs in a way that protects rural white voters and burdens urban voters of color. Kentucky’s waiver from HHS allowing work requirements, which HHS approved in January, will be challenged in federal court this June. Pending waivers in Michigan and Ohio have yet to win federal approval, but some experts tell TPM that if HHS approves them, the states could be hit wiht lawsuits against the laws’ “disparate impact” on people of color. While the administration is keen to approve Medicaid work requirements and other restrictions that will have the effect of kicking hundreds of thousands of people off their health-care coverage, it has made clear that it won’t approve every GOP-backed measure that comes its…

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