(Washington, D.C.) – This week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) informed states that they may adopt “work or other community engagement” requirements for able-bodied, non-elderly, non-pregnant adult Medicaid beneficiaries. CMS Director Seema Verma stated that the new policy was in response to requests for flexibility from ten states. The policy change could allow states to require skills training, education, job search, volunteering or caregiving, according to CMS.
Daniel Garza, President of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
“There are millions of Latinos who are unable to afford a better health insurance option than the government-run Medicaid program. With the failure of Obamacare to deliver on promises to bring down the cost of private insurance, that number has grown over the last five years to approximately 18 million people. But given government inefficiency and the difficulty in finding a doctor and receiving quality health care in Medicaid, many Latinos are still searching for better options.
Giving states greater flexibility will allow them to curb abuses and focus resources on better care for the truly needy. If some states choose to adopt work requirements for recipients who are capable of working, that has the potential to improve care for all beneficiaries. We are encouraged that today’s move will allow governors and state legislatures to innovate, with the goal of making Medicaid work better.”