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  • Medicaid Chief: Work Requirements Assessed 'Case by Case'  Associated Press by Jonathan Mattise —The federal Medicaid leader on Thursday declined to say whether imposing work requirements on certain beneficiaries is better suited for states that expanded Medicaid than those that didn't, saying her agency is assessing state proposals on a case-by-case basis. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma told reporters the program is about helping people rise out of poverty. President Donald Trump's administration has approved work-requirement plans in Kentucky, Indiana and Arkansas, all Medicaid expansion states under former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. .."We are always looking at budget neutrality," Verma said. "When a state puts a plan together, it has to be federally budget neutral and it has to also meet the objectives of the Medicaid program."

  • Why Are States So Strapped for Cash? There Are Two Big Reasons  Wall Street Journal by Cezary Podkul & Heather Gillers — As state and local officials prepare their next budgets, many are finding that spending decisions have already been made for them: Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled, and public-employee health and retirement costs. These days, they consume about one out of every five tax dollars collected by state and local governments. That is the highest share since Medicaid was created in 1965. Postretirement health benefits, which are harder to quantify, add to that burden and have cumulatively cost states more than $100 billion since 2008, according to government financial disclosures compiled by Merritt Research Services.

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