Capitol Correspondence - 10.21.19

Arizona Suspends Medicaid Work Requirements

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We are sharing this update from Politico Pro because ANCOR has previously shared concerns about Medicaid work requirements on people with disabilities and the workforce who supports them.

“Arizona will postpone implementation of its Medicaid work requirement in part because of ongoing litigation that has halted similar programs in three other states, Arizona officials told the Trump administration.

Arizona Medicaid chief Jami Snyder told CMS in a Thursday letter the state would halt the work rules ‘until further notice.’ The Arizona requirement, approved in January, had been scheduled to take effect next year.

‘This decision is informed by the evolving national landscape concerning Medicaid community engagement programs and ongoing litigation regarding the topic,’ Snyder wrote.

A federal judge has blocked work requirements in Arkansas, Kentucky and New Hampshire, and HHS has also been sued over new rules in Indiana. A federal appeals court last week aggressively questioned Trump administration attorneys about how such rules advanced Medicaid’s core mission.

Arizona is one of nine states where the Trump administration has approved programs requiring certain Medicaid enrollees to work or complete a similar activity to keep their benefits. Another nine have submitted proposals awaiting CMS review.

‘CMS remains steadfast in our commitment to supporting local innovation and will continue to defend programs designed to lift families from poverty,’ said an agency spokesperson in a statement.”