For as long as it has existed, the federal government has not allowed states to place restrictions on Medicaid enrollment but the Trump regime is planning to do exactly that.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this morning that it will allow states to impose work and training requirements for Medicaid recipients and there is an irony to this announcement that Reuters helpfully highlights.
Seema Verma, the agency’s administrator, said the policy guidance came in response to requests from at least 10 states that had proposed requiring some Medicaid recipients to work or participate in activities such as skills training, education, job search, volunteering or caregiving. Those states, mostly Republican led, include Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.
Red states -- states that voted for Trump by the highest margins -- will be the first and possibly the only states that will adopt work and job training requirements for access to Medicaid.
Unfortunately there are also many people in these states that did not vote for Trump, but an overwhelming majority of their residents did. In Arkansas and Kentucky, for example, Trump won by nearly 30 percent. These are overwhelmingly homogeneous states where the vast majority of recipients of programs like Medicaid are conservative white people.
I'm sure no one could forget the stories from early last year in which Trump voters in these states expressed shock when they learned that Republicans in Congress planned to cut Medicaid by a trillion dollars with Trump's help. No one will forget the image of Trump celebrating with House Republicans in the Rose Garden (pictured above) after they initially voted to repeal Obamacare and cut Medicaid by a trillion dollars.
Democrats will never be able to reach a significant portion of conservative voters in these states no matter what message they send, but for others I believe the message should be clear: Republicans want you dead.