Healthcare

Biden Admin Ends Trump’s Medicaid Requirements

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Good news -- the Biden administration has formally notified state governments that they're ending one of the Trump regime's most cruel and nonsensical changes to the Medicaid program.

States that imposed work requirements on Medicaid recipients with permission from the regime will no longer have permission to impose requirements.

In separate actions Friday, officials notified states with approved work requirements that the administration planned to withdraw the approvals, and it rescinded a Trump-era online guidance document inviting states to pursue new work requirement plans. [...]

The work requirements, a longstanding conservative goal, were a policy priority for Seema Verma, who ran the federal Medicaid program under President Trump. This was an about-face from the position of the Obama administration, which steadfastly opposed the idea of tethering public health benefits to work — something that had never happened in Medicaid’s nearly 60-year history.

Kentucky was the first state out of the gate with work requirements and former Governor Matt Bevin lost his bid for reelection thanks to it. Nearly half of Kentucky's population is covered by Medicaid and Bevin endeavored to construct an entire new bureaucracy around the gamification of work requirements.

Medicaid work requirements are unpopular in most places, but they're also ineffective and impractical. The Trump regime made eyes roll when they claimed that work requirements would lift people out of poverty by making them get jobs, but the vast majority of people covered by Medicaid actually have jobs. That is especially true in impoverished red states like Kentucky where wages are very low. A person can work full time at a convenience store or restaurant, among other places, and still qualify for Medicaid.

What work requirements do is remove people from the rolls by putting bureaucratic obstacles and additional red tape in front of applicants.

Republicans say they hate red tape, but the truth is they love red tape when they can use it against poor people and minorities.