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Biden Admin Makes Move to Encourage Able-Bodied Medicaid Recipients to Live on Taxpayer Dime

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The Biden administration is moving to roll back Medicaid work requirements in its latest effort to undo Trump-era policy.

Federal health officials planned Friday to inform 10 states that they would revoke permissions granted by the Trump administration to impose such requirements, according to a Biden official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Officials were also set to withdraw the Trump administration’s invitation for states to apply for approval of work requirements.

The move follows an executive order President Joe Biden signed last month that directed officials to review and remove barriers to Medicaid coverage.

Medicaid is a $600 billion program that covers about 70 million people.

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The Trump administration allowed states to require “able-bodied” adults receiving Medicaid benefits to work, volunteer or study.

Nearly 20 states had tried to implement requirements after the administration invited them in 2018 to submit such proposals.

A federal judge blocked the requirements in Arkansas, New Hampshire and Kentucky. Two other states, Arizona and Indiana, have blocked enforcement, citing litigation.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services praised the decision in a statement.

Do you think able-bodied Medicaid recipients should be required to work?

“In the midst of the greatest public health emergency in generations, now more than ever, people with Medicaid need access to care,” the statement reads.

“This is not the time to experiment or test policies that risk a substantial loss of health coverage or benefits, especially for individuals and communities significantly impacted by COVID-19 and other health inequities.”

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge called the decision by the Biden administration an “overreach of executive power.”

“It is unfortunate that President Biden and his administration felt compelled to take steps to withdraw the approval of Arkansas’s work-requirement pilot program without giving it an opportunity to succeed,” she said in a statement.

“The one-size-fits-all Medicaid program doesn’t work.”

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