Trump administration decides states can require people to work for Medicaid

In a move that’s sure to ignite the fire and fury of radical leftists, the Trump administration is encouraging states to require “able-bodied” Medicaid recipients to work in exchange for health insurance.

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2017 file photo, Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, speaks during a news conference in Newark, N.J. The Trump administration says it's offering a path for states that want to seek work requirements for Medicaid recipients, and that's a major policy shift toward low-income people. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, speaks during a news conference in Newark, N.J. The Trump administration says it’s offering a path for states that want to seek work requirements for Medicaid recipients. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, issued new guidelines on Thursday for states that want to comply, NPR reported.

CMS administrator Seema Verma called it “incentivizing community engagement” in a tweet sent out shortly after the new guidelines were released.

Adults who are elderly or disabled, or who are pregnant will be exempted from having to work, volunteer or participate in job training, NPR reported.

Verma insisted the Trump administration wants to give states leeway to make its own decisions and try out their own ideas.

“There are a lot of different ideas, and a lot of ways to go about this,” Verma said. “We want to give states as much flexibility as possible because that’s where we’ll be able to evaluate what actually works best.”

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Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin already filed applications to add the work requirements, according to NPR.

The move is already amassing vocal critics. Suzanne Wikle of the Center for Law and Social Policy argued that good health must come before getting a job.

“Access to Medicaid makes it easier for people to look for work and obtain employment,” Wikle said. “A so-called ‘work requirement’ does not support work, but instead puts a critical support for work at risk.”

Verma, and proponents of the requirements view it differently.

“This is about helping people rise out of poverty,” Verma said in press conference, according to NPR.

Unsurprisingly, Verma is getting hammered on Twitter:

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Despite all the belly-aching, it looks like the list of states wanting to implement the new work requirements is quickly growing, and NPR can add South Carolina:

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