Trump administration rejects lifetime limits on Medicaid for Kansas, work requirements still a go

NOVATO, CA - FEBRUARY 10:  Occupational therapist Mary Tappan (L) helps a patient to a physical therapy session at the Lifelong Medical Marin Adult Day Health Care Center on February 10, 2011 in Novato, California.  LifeLong Medical Care in Novato is a state-licensed center that provides adult day health care and activities to nearly 60 Marin County seniors and would be forced to close if California Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget cuts were to be approved by the state legislature in order to make up for California's $28 billion deficit. The deep cuts to Medi-Cal would jeopardize up to 300 adult day care centers throughout California and displace nearly 37,000 people that depend on the service.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Early this year, the monsters in the Trump administration kicked around the idea of allowing states to set limits on how long a person can receive Medicaid benefits, meaning after so many years, you’re off. Five states—Maine, Arizona, Utah, Wisconsin and Kansas—decided to try it out. It was a lawsuit just waiting to happen, which might be why Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma rejected Kansas’s three-year limit on Monday.

“We seek to create a pathway out of poverty, but we also understand that people’s circumstances change, and we must ensure that our programs are sustainable and available to them when they need and qualify for them,” Verma said at the American Hospital Association’s annual membership meeting. […]

The announcement does not augur well for other states, including Arizona, Utah, and Maine who have also requested lifetime limits.

However, Verma didn’t rule out approving other “community engagement” requirements, including work requirements. “We will continue to be supportive of state efforts to help able-bodied, working-age adults rise out of poverty, so they can gain the skills they need to fill the jobs that are available,” she said.

The administration is gung-ho on those work requirements, and has approved them for Kentucky, Arkansas and Indiana and Verma said another state’s waiver will be approved this week. Just in case you thought that humanity might be returning to Health and Human Services. These work requirements are lawsuit fodder, too, starting with Kentucky.

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