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  • Trump's Hidden War on Medicaid  Vox by Dylan Scott — A dozen states are applying for or entertaining work requirements and other restrictions on Medicaid — putting the lifeline for millions of poor Americans at risk. The story of Medicaid so far has been of gradual expansion, from the absolutely most vulnerable Americans to a broader social safety net for all Americans in or near poverty. But now, under Trump, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have signaled that they are open to unprecedented policy changes, most notably requirements that many Medicaid beneficiaries either work or look for work. The Trump administration could initiate the most dramatic reductions in Medicaid enrollment and spending since the program began, even though Trump as a presidential candidate promised he would not cut Medicaid.

  • Work Requirement Approved for Arkansas's Medicaid Expansion  Associated Press by Andrew DeMillo — The Trump administration on Monday approved Arkansas's plan to require thousands of people on its Medicaid expansion program to work or volunteer, making Arkansas the third state allowed to impose such restrictions on health care coverage for the poor. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced that the requirement for Arkansas' program, which uses Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents, had been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. More than 285,000 people are on the Arkansas program, which was created as an alternative to expanding traditional Medicaid under the federal health law….Arkansas's proposal will not affect people on its traditional Medicaid program, which covers about more than 645,000 people statewide.

  • Fallin Seeks Work Requirement for Medicaid in Oklahoma  Associated Press — Gov. Mary Fallin is ordering the state's Medicaid agency to develop a requirement that certain able-bodied participants work in order to keep receiving benefits. Fallin issued an executive order on Tuesday directing the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to submit recommendations to the governor and Legislature within the next six months. Fallin suggested exemptions for children, pregnant women, the disabled, caretakers of young children and those participating in substance abuse programs, among others. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved work requirements in Arkansas, Indiana and Kentucky, but all three of those states expanded their Medicaid eligibility. Oklahoma did not. Oklahoma currently has about 798,000 Medicaid recipients, about 66 percent of whom are children. More than half of adult recipients are elderly, blind, or disabled.

  • Hospital Groups — Leaders in Last Year's Medicaid Battle — Stay Mum on Controversial Work Requirements  Modern Healthcare by Harris Meyer — Politically powerful state hospital associations and their members spent most of last year battling congressional Republican's efforts to sharply cut Medicaid spending and roll back its expansion to low-income adults. In fact, they're widely credited with playing a key role in blocking those changes.  Now they're nervously facing narrower but still significant GOP Medicaid moves that are projected to push tens of thousands of low-income people out of the program by imposing work requirements, premium payments, rigorous income reporting rules, and benefit lock-outs for failure to comply. Republican leaders in Kentucky, Indiana, and Arkansas recently won approval from the Trump administration to establish these new waiver conditions for Medicaid eligibility. Eight other GOP-led states have submitted similar Medicaid work requirement proposals, and nine others have indicated interest in doing so.  But state hospital association leaders have been quiet in their responses so far, with some even offering tepid support. That contrasts with their intense lobbying last year to maintain and expand Medicaid coverage. Some observers say their political calculations may change when they see how the waiver changes actually play out.

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