Trump approves Arkansas Medicaid work requirements
Arkansas on Monday became the third state to get the Trump administration’s permission to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved a Medicaid waiver that included a requirement for recipients to work, or participate in job training or job search activities for 80 hours a month.
State officials said they will begin implementing the work requirements June 1, making them the first state to do so. If a person fails to meet the requirements for three months, he or she will lose coverage for the rest of that calendar year.
However, the state did not get approval to roll back the eligibility level for Medicaid beneficiaries. If that provision had been approved, an estimated 60,000 people would have lost coverage.
Arkansas expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare to people earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, and receives federal funding to pay for those new enrollees. But Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) sought to restrict the program so that only people who are at the federal poverty level would be eligible.
The so-called “partial expansion” was a key test of the limits of the Trump administration’s power on how far states could go to limit Medicaid enrollment. Arkansas officials sought to reduce eligibility, while still getting the same level of federal funding.
Work requirements don’t make more people work, because most recipients already work, they just throw them off benefits.