Capitol Correspondence - 03.23.21

Biden Administration Continues Reversing State Medicaid Work Requirements

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Continuing our long-running coverage of this issue, ANCOR shares Politico Pulse’s latest reporting on the Biden Administration’s efforts to reverse state efforts to implement Medicaid work requirements, which had gained traction during the Trump Administration. ANCOR opposed Medicaid work requirements because of their potential to affect individuals with disabilities and the Direct Support Professional workforce who support them.

“Biden health officials quietly revoked Trump-era approvals for Medicaid work requirements in two states on Wednesday, as they begin unwinding one of the prior administration’s signature health policies, POLITICO’s Rachel Roubein reports.

Those initial actions targeted programs in Arkansas and New Hampshire that mandated some enrollees work, volunteer or attend school as a condition of health coverage.

— The timing here is significant. Though the administration had already signaled it would rescind the rules, their formal dismantling comes as the Supreme Court weighs whether to take up a legal case over work requirements — a case that may now be moot.

It’s a move that could draw the ire of GOP-led states. At least seven states had defended their policies in recent letters to CMS, noting that states had already been effectively barred from enforcing work rules during the pandemic.

Biden officials have nevertheless cited Covid as a reason for eliminating the requirements, and last week released a report highlighting their connection to ‘significant’ coverage losses.”