Arizona Suspends Medicaid Work RequirementTop Stories

October 22, 2019 11:08
Arizona Suspends Medicaid Work Requirement

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Arizona recently suspended plans that include around 120,000 people to work, volunteer or even go to school to receive their Medicaid work requirement. The similar kind of view on the mandates of the other states is being looked upon by the court as well.

This specific decision is going to be yet another blow to the Trump administration along with the allies in majority of the Republican led states. The low income people seeking the taxpayer benefits are the ones who will face the maximum hit of it.

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, which is the state Medicaid program, said that the process of implementation is a little slower in the state of Arizona because the court is panning out the same in the other states as well and to ensure that the same doesn’t end up affecting the most vulnerable members in Arizona.

The Trump administration has also approved Arizona’s request to date the work implementation no earlier than January 01st, 2020.

Back in March, the US judge did block the work requirements both in Arkansas and Kentucky stating that the rulings did end up undermining the main objective of the program which was to provide better healthcare for the people in actual need of it.

It was followed by New Hampshire who suspended their works in July and were later blocked by a judge. The federal appeals court has also considered Arkansas and the Kentucky case questioning some of the sharp requirements in this.

Among all these disputes, the Trump administration does believe that the rules would help in making people healthier. Around 20 states in the United States are in the process of trying to implement them to make up for the work requirements.

Some of the critics against this suggest saying that the work requirements would end up jeopardizing the process of better healthcare for the hardworking people who are struggling with child care, transportation and other relevant issues because of the lower wages they get.

Jessica Schubel, a senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities stated saying, “All it does is increase the uninsured rate. It takes coverage away from people who are working and people who should get exemptions because they get caught up in the red tape.”

Around 18,000 people in Arkansas ended up losing the benefits they were getting after the implementation of the work requirements.

Heidi Capriotti, a spokeswoman for Arizona’s Medicaid agency clarified saying that the decision around this wasn’t made in response to some of the developments around. She further said that the state is still committed to ensure the proper implementation of the work requirements eventually.

Capriotti said that they are going to hold on to the program until they are sure of what is happening around with the other state litigation. Even State Rep. Nancy Barto believes that it is best to delay the implementation by a few months than have to stop and restart it again without means.

Last year itself, Trump signed an executive order directing some of the cabinet agencies to add or even strengthen the work requirements in the Medicaid program for subsidized housing, food stamps as well as the cash welfare.

By Somapika Dutta

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Medicaid  Arizona  Trump administration  Subsidy