The administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Tuesday that the Trump administration would allow states to impose work requirements on non-disabled Medicaid enrollees, The Washington Post reports. In a speech to the National Association of Medicaid Directors, CMS administrator Seema Verma told the audience that "the thought that a program that was designed for our most vulnerable citizens should be used as a vehicle to serve working age, able-bodied adults does not make sense."
Verma blamed the Obama administration for fighting "state-led reforms that would've allowed the Medicaid program to evolve": Under former President Barack Obama, the qualifications for Medicaid coverage expanded to 138 percent of the federal poverty level for non-disabled individuals. States were also allowed to seek a federal waiver from work participation requirements for healthy enrollees.
Critics of the Affordable Care Act argue that the Medicaid expansion and work requirement waivers put disabled individuals at a disadvantage because they encouraged able-bodied adults to enroll for Medicaid. Eight states — New Hampshire being the most recent — have submitted requests to the CMS to reimpose work or community service requirements for healthy Medicaid enrollees. A CMS official told Kaiser Health News that these decisions would likely be ruled on by the end of the year.