Governor Doug Ducey’s proposal, to be submitted later this month, will be scaled back from the one federal officials rejected last year.
The governor is offering new exceptions and a limit on how much time someone needs to spend on a job or in training each week to keep receiving benefits.
Something else is different: The people who will review the plan in Washington, D.C. The new administrators at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, now under the direction of President Trump, have suggested they’re more amenable to the idea than was the Obama administration.
Ducey signed the 2015 Arizona legislation, which requires the state to annually seek permission to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients and to kick them out of the health-care program after five years. Gubernatorial press aide Daniel Scarpinato said at the time that the measure will “ensure that we have a responsible Medicaid program that protects taxpayers and provides care to those who need it the most.”
The Arizona Daily Star quotes AHCCCS Director Tom Betlach:
It is well-recognized that the determinants of health include social and economic factors including education and employment. We must support Arizonans in pursuing their educational goals, building their technical skills and gaining the income, independence and fulfillment that come with employment.
Read more about the work requirement waiver request in The Arizona Daily Star
Read a letter AHCCCS Director Betlach recently sent to Seema Verma, CMS Director about State flexibility concepts, foreshadowing the theme of the upcoming waiver request.