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Red States May Be Ready to Expand Medicaid — in Exchange for Work

In several states this year, the march to bring health care benefits to more low-income residents came with the insistence that able-bodied adults — who are just a fraction of all Medicaid recipients — put in hours of work or volunteer time each month to retain the assistance. The politics worked: Many Democratic lawmakers went along as assurance that more people could reap benefits from the Affordable Care Act, while Republicans were able to show their base that they were holding people accountable for receiving aid. As a result, Republican-led states have increasingly expanded coverage with such restrictions, and some red states that had already expanded Medicaid are opting to add them. Although a court has temporarily halted Kentucky’s plan, three other expansion states – Arkansas, Indiana, and New Hampshire — have federally approved work requirement waivers in place. Another three expansion states — Arizona, Ohio, and Maine — are seeking permission to do the same. (Christine Vestal, Stateline)

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