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Capitol Correspondence - 02.16.21

Biden Administration Reverses Trump-Era Medicaid Work Requirements

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ANCOR has long been following the broader policy discussions surrounding Medicaid work requirements because of our concern that they would harm people with disabilities and the Direct Support Professionals who serve them. As such, we share this reporting from Politico Pulse:

“The Biden administration plans to withdraw the Trump administration’s rule allowing states to impose Medicaid work requirements, according to documents obtained by POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn.

Though Democrats have long opposed the rules, arguing that the vast majority of people on Medicaid who are able to work already do so, Biden’s HHS is citing the pandemic as the main reason for the change, saying the crisis has ‘greatly increased the risk’ that the policy will lead to ‘unintended coverage loss.’

How we got here: The Trump administration approved waivers allowing several states to require some Medicaid enrollees to work or volunteer in order to remain on the insurance rolls. Only one state, Arkansas, ever fully implemented the rules; though they were in effect for just a few months in 2018 before a judge blocked them, about 18,000 people lost Medicaid coverage.

What happens now: The Supreme Court is set to consider whether the work requirements are legal on March 29. Though it’s not clear when Biden plans to withdraw the work rules, his actions could render the case moot.”