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Fri Jan 11, 2019, 05:19 AM

Arkansas a 'cautionary tale' for states considering Medicaid work requirements, health advocates say

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a progressive-leaning think tank based in Washington, D.C., released an analysis today summing up the many criticisms of Arkansas's experimental work requirement for certain Medicaid beneficiaries.

The report is partly intended to rebut the arguments of those who favor the idea of work requirements in principle but concede Arkansas's implementation of its policy may have been flawed. Seema Verma, the Trump administration's top Medicaid official, seemed to suggest as much in November when she told reporters that observers needed "to separate whatís going on in Arkansas, the policy, from the operations."

In contrast, the CBPP report concludes that Medicaid work requirements are inherently flawed and "can't be fixed." The Arkansas experience suggests all work requirements, no matter how carefully crafted and implemented, will take coverage from some people who are already working or who should be exempt.

"Moreover, Medicaid work requirements will not increase employment or improve health outcomes, contrary to the [Trump] Administrationís claims," the report says. That's in contrast to Governor Hutchinson's previous assertions that thousands of Arkansans have found jobs as a result of the work requirement.

Read more: https://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2019/01/10/arkansas-a-cautionary-tale-for-states-considering-medicaid-work-requirements-health-advocates-say

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