A major shift in the 50-year-old program, the guidelines will set the conditions for allowing states to add work requirements to their Medicaid programs, bringing a conservative twist to the health insurance program for the poor.
The Hill reports the changes represent the vision of Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), who has long worked on conservative Medicaid changes. Verma is quoted:
Believing that community engagement requirements do not support or promote the objectives of Medicaid is a tragic example of the soft bigotry of low expectations consistently espoused by the prior administration. Those days are over.
The work requirements would only take effect if a state chose to pursue them and applied for a waiver from the federal government. The Obama administration always rejected state applications that included work requirements, but the new guidelines from the Trump administration would set conditions where those applications would be approved for the first time.
There are currently nine states applying to impose work requirements.
Not everyone agrees it is a good idea.
Read more at The Hill.