The Trump administration issued guidance to states on Thursday that will allow them to compel people to work or prepare for jobs in order to receive Medicaid for the first time in the half- century history of this fundamental safety-net program.
The letter to state Medicaid directors opens the door for states to cut off Medicaid benefits to Americans unless they have a job, are in school, are a caregiver or volunteer, or participate in other approved forms of “community engagement” – an idea that some states had broached over the past several years but that the Obama administration had consistently rebuffed.
The new policy comes as 10 states are already lined up, waiting for federal permission to impose work requirements on able-bodied adults in the program. Three other states are contemplating them. Health officials could approve the first waiver – probably for Kentucky – as soon as Friday, according to two people with knowledge of the process.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Amy Goldstein