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Since the dream of destroying Medicaid died with the latest Trumpcare failure, the Trump administration and red state governors are going to have to just do what they can with their existing powers, and those powers are making life as miserable as possible for those people who have Medicaid. One of the first things the Trump administration did was to relax the rules so that states could fundamentally alter and shrink the program.
At least six states with GOP governors— Arkansas, Kentucky, Arizona, Maine, Wisconsin and Indiana — have already drafted plans meant to introduce new rules people would have to meet to be eligible for Medicaid, which provides healthcare to the poor.
Some want to add work requirements or introduce drug testing for recipients. Others want to raise premium prices. […]
Critics say the proposed changes will leave fewer people on Medicaid and hurt the poor and vulnerable.
on what’s allowable and tying eligibility to work or drug testing or some of these other things is not consistent with what should be allowed,” said Judith Solomon, vice president for health policy at the liberal-leaning Centers on Budget and Policy Priorities.
“That said, we know we now have an administration that likely thinks differently, and we could see some changes in that regard,” she said.
There are limits on what the administration is supposed to be allowed to do but no one believes that will constrain Trump and his HHS Secretary, Tom Price, who does not believe that health care is a right or even something most people deserve. He’s the one who gets to determine if the waivers he approves meet the existing requirements of being budget neutral and “promot[ing] the objectives of the Medicaid program.” In the past, that meant bringing more people into the program. Now it’s apparently bringing people into the program to punish and humiliate them. This could very well end up in court, because there is a question of how far the law allows the administration to go.
Meanwhile, there’s also the reality that the majority of people who are not children, elderly, or disabled who received Medicaid already work, about 60 percent of them, in fact and 78 percent of Medicaid recipients live in a household with someone working full-time. This is not an issue. This is an effort to make getting and staying on Medicaid so difficult and unpleasant that people don’t do it.