New Trump Administration Attack on Medicaid Undermines Health System and Work

Today, health and community groups decried the Trump Administration's new guidance in a letter from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services stating the federal government would approve waivers allowing states to impose work and "community engagement" requirements in Medicaid.
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For Immediate Release: January 11, 2018

CONTACT:  Anthony Wright, Executive Director, 916-870-4782 (cell)

HEALTH ADVOCATES DECRY TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ATTACK ON MEDICAID

  • Allowing States to Cut Coverage for the Unemployed Is Bad Health and Economic Policy; Undoes Medicaid’s Role As a Safety-Net for All of Us to Get Coverage and Care When Between Jobs
  • Most Adults with Medicaid Coverage Are Working; The Rest Have Medical Conditions, Are Family Caregivers, Or Are In School. Medicaid Coverage Often Provides the Care and Treatment Needed to Help Patients Get Back to Work.
  • California Has Correctly Taken a Different Direction–Opening, Rather than Restricting, Medi-Cal Eligibility. Medi-Cal Now Covers 13.5 Million Californians–Including Over Half of All Children, Two-Thirds of All Nursing Home Residents.

Sacramento, CA – Today, health and community groups decried the Trump Administration’s new guidance in a letter from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services stating the federal government would approve waivers allowing states to impose work and “community engagement” requirements in Medicaid. Below is a comment from Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition:

“This new Trump Administration decree to allow states to deny coverage to the unemployed is bad health and bad economic policy, preventing people from getting the care and treatment they need to get back to work.This guidance rips away the safety-net that Medicaid provides for all of us who may find ourselves between jobs and without income, but needing coverage and care.”

“The vast majority of adults on Medicaid are working in low-income jobs that don’t provide health benefits, and most of the rest have disabilities or chronic conditions. The impact will be in the paperwork burden of denying people the care and coverage they need. Work requirements won’t help anyone get a job, but will be counterproductive for patients getting the care and treatment they need to get better to get back to work. Medicaid work requirements impractically put the cart before the horse.”>

“California has correctly gone in a different direction, encouraging, rather than restricting, enrollment in Medi-Cal and other health programs, understanding our health system is stronger when everyone is included. Medi-Cal now covers 13.5 million Californians, over a third of the state, over half of all children, and two-thirds of all nursing home residents–and is a safety net for all of us. California should recommit to the goal of universal coverage, including for the unemployed who may need the coverage and care to get ready to go back to work.”

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