Thursday, February 01, 2018

A green light for work requirements may trigger expansion of Medicaid in conservative Republican states

"Republican lawmakers in a half-dozen states are launching fresh efforts to expand Medicaid, the nation’s health insurance program for the poor, as party holdouts who had blocked the expansion say they’re now open to it because of Trump administration guidelines allowing states to impose new requirements that program recipients work to get benefits," Jeff Stein reports for The Washington Post.

That includes efforts in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, North Carolina, Virginia and Kansas, though it's unclear whether enough conservatives will support expanding Medicaid at all, or whether Democrats will support doing so with work requirements attached. Ten states have already filed requests for work requirements; Kentucky was the first state to have them approved. 

Republican-friendly versions of the program could increase Medicaid's reach into the 17 conservative Republican states that didn't expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, albeit with reduced benefits.

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