What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us

Biden administration rolls back some Medicaid work requirement waivers

Mitchell Hartman Apr 8, 2021
Heard on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
The Biden administration says work requirements set up barriers to insurance coverage for low-income people during the pandemic. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Biden administration rolls back some Medicaid work requirement waivers

Mitchell Hartman Apr 8, 2021
Heard on:
The Biden administration says work requirements set up barriers to insurance coverage for low-income people during the pandemic. Alex Wong/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The Biden administration is rolling back rules put in place during the Trump administration to require some low-income people to work in order to qualify for Medicaid. The feds notified Michigan and some other states that their work requirement policies can’t be implemented.

The Trump administration allowed states to require that some Medicaid recipients show they were working or looking for work in order to keep their benefits. About a dozen states got waivers to do that, said Joan Alker at Georgetown University, though in many, implementation was blocked by the courts.

“Michigan had their policy in place for just a few months — about 80,000 people potentially slated to lose their health insurance if the court hadn’t stepped in,” Alker said.

The Biden administration says that imposing work requirements may put people’s health care coverage at risk during the pandemic. Robin Rudowitz at the Kaiser Family Foundation said the administration’s argument more broadly is “that the work requirements don’t promote the objectives of the Medicaid program, which is to provide coverage to low-income people.”

So Rudowitz said the administration has revoked work requirement waivers in Michigan, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Arkansas. More revocations may follow.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.