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In a pierce critics denounced as a “truly savage” bid to “stigmatize the poor” and criticise a life-saving component of the social reserve net, the Trump administration on Thursday issued guidance that would for the first time concede states to force work or opening mandate on Medicaid recipients.
While Seema Verma, conduct of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, euphemistically described the new superintendence as an bid to “transform Medicaid,” analysts argued that the policy change is little some-more than a “sneak attack” on an intensely renouned program that provides essential medical coverage to over 70 million Americans.
“This is just the latest in Trump and Republicans’ relentless attack on Medicaid and the broader set of sovereign programs people rest on. And it’s a sign that there is likely some-more to come,” celebrated Chad Bolt, comparison policy manager at Indivisible.
Who could remove their health coverage as a outcome of this new guidance? People who:
-can’t find work
-live in areas of determined unemployment
-got laid off during a recession
-have anniversary jobs
-don’t get as many hours from their employer as they wish 7/
— Chad Bolt (@chadderr) Jan 11, 2018
As Common Dreams has reported, President Donald Trump and the Republican Party have been eyeing cuts to the already discontinued reserve net for months, and progressives have repeatedly warned that the deficit-exploding GOP taxation plan—signed into law just after Christmas—would offer as a car for draconian changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
Even before the Trump administration’s superintendence was released on Thursday, 10 states—including Maine, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, and Kentucky—had already requested a sovereign “waiver” to levy work mandate on Medicaid recipients, and some-more are likely to follow fit in the coming weeks.
“To validate for a waiver, a state must yield a convincing justification that its examination would ‘further the objectives’ of Medicaid,” records the Washington Post‘s Amy Goldstein.
Health policy experts were discerning to disagree that Trump’s new policy will do precisely the opposite.
“Work mandate don’t help the impoverished or underemployed find work,” Bolt notes, “it punishes them when they’re down—which is accurately what the Trump administration wants to do.”
BREAKING: Trump administration is permitting states to cancel automatic, guaranteed Medicaid coverage for people with disabilities, the medically frail, and people who can’t find jobs. This is truly savage. https://t.co/5bVPUZCACM
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) Jan 11, 2018
In further to slamming the cruelty of the policy shift, analysts also poked holes in the assumptions being used to clear it.
Contrary to the worried trope that recipients of Medicaid are impoverished moochers, a Kaiser Family Foundation study published last month found that 80 percent of adult Medicaid recipients “live in operative families, and a infancy are operative themselves.”
“Among the adult Medicaid enrollees who were not working, many report major impediments to their ability to work including illness or incapacity or care-giving responsibilities,” the study adds.
If Republicans truly cared about punishing “lazy” people shower up income but having to work for it, they would be focusing their courtesy on “the idle rich,” argued the Washington Post‘s Elizabeth Bruenig in a new column.
“They soak up copiousness of unmerited income from the economy, in the form of rent, dividends and collateral income,” Bruenig wrote. “And nonetheless frequency do politicians inveigh against the indolence of the well-off. In fact, the supervision shells out outrageous sums of income to the abounding every year by taxation breaks and subsidies.”
Echoing Bruenig in a tweet on Wednesday, Roosevelt Institute associate Michael Linden concluded, “There is maybe no better instance of the dignified debase at the core of the Republican Party than commanding supposed ‘work requirements’ on sick Medicaid recipients just weeks after flitting a large taxation cut for abounding heirs who literally did no work at all to get their wealth.”
Jake Johnson is an eccentric writer. Follow him on Twitter: @wordsofdissent