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January 11, 2018
OAN Newsroom

The Trump administration issued new guidelines to allow states to enforce “proof of employment” for Medicaid recipients.

The centers for Medicare and Medicaid services announced new guidelines allowing states to develop programs requiring certain Medicaid recipients to work in order to receive benefits.

During a speech before the National Association of Medicaid directors in 2017, administrator Seema Verma outlined the reasoning behind the guidelines.

“Believing that community engagement requirements do not support or promote the objectives of Medicaid is a tragic example of the soft bigotry of low expectations consistently espoused by the prior administration,” said Verma.

FILE – In this March 22, 2017 file photo, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma listen at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. 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/Evan Vucci, File)

Individuals with certain disabilities as well as pregnant women, children, and the elderly would not be subject to the new policies.

The guidelines will allow the states to create their own programs designed to fit the needs of their people as well as the resources available.

At least 10 states have already proposed similar requirements, including Kentucky, Indiana, Utah, and New Hampshire.

The guidelines list employment or community engagement as acceptable.

Job training and volunteer activities fall under this category as well as substance abuse programs.

Each state will have to comply with all federal laws, including civil rights regulations and disability regulations to ensure those in need will receive coverage.

Statistics say people who are gainfully employed tend to be healthier both mentally and physically.

Officials believe the incentive to work will have a positive effect on Medicaid beneficiaries as well as their communities.

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