Thursday, March 16, 2017

Trump regime will allow states to punish and humiliate poor people trying to get Medicaid

Just in case Trumpcare doesn't work out for Republicans, and their vision of destroying Medicaid can't be realized through that, the Trump regime has figured out how to make poor people suffer more if they want health care. In a letter sent Tuesday, brand-new Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Seema Verma, the newly installed administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told governors that they can now realize the Republican dream of creating more humiliating hoops for poor people to jump through to get health care.

The Trump administration will work with states that want to alter their Medicaid programs by imposing work requirements, premiums, emergency-room copayments and other changes, part of a Republican effort to give states more authority over the program’s implementation.
The action is expected to allow states to obtain waivers from the federal government that some health analysts say could add several first-ever obligations for beneficiaries and pare back coverage. […]

One possible outcome: States could be allowed to seek approval to narrow eligibility under the expansion of Medicaid undertaken as part of the Affordable Care Act.

States that accepted federal funding for expansion provide benefits to residents, including childless adults, with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level. Some states may request approval to dial that back, allowing eligibility only up to 100% of the poverty level, several people familiar with the plans said.

This could very well be the sweetener that the Freedom Caucus maniacs need to bring them around to Trumpcare. If for some reason those restrictions on expansion are passed legislatively, the maniacs will see it happening administratively, and it might take one of their objections to Trumpcare away.

Never mind that 59 percent of non-disabled adults on Medicaid already work and 78 percent of people on Medicaid live with someone who is working and that it's easier for people who have health care to get and keep a job. A work requirement is another hoop to force a poor person to jump through to get help, a hoop that makes it more likely they'll not even bother to apply.

The ultimate result of this—and the real goal of Republicans—will be fewer people on Medicaid. That that also means more people dying prematurely.


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