What will Medicaid work requirements look like under Biden?


As of Dec. 23, 2020, the Trump administration has granted approval to 12 states looking to implement some form of Medicaid work requirements, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, with four of those approvals being set aside by courts.

While the Trump administration has generally sided with allowing states to implement work requirements in Medicaid, the incoming Biden administration is expected to oppose the policy. What does this mean for the future of Medicaid work requirements?

According to a report from The Commonwealth Fund, a left-learning healthcare policy research institute, the future of Medicaid work requirements hinges on two issues: procedural requirements and the Supreme Court's own stance. 

First, if the Biden administration decides to rescind the Trump administration's policy and reverse course on pending and approved work requirements, it can't just reverse course. The administration would need to follow certain procedural requirements and notify states about its intent. 

Secondly, the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in two cases that concern the legality of Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas and New Hampshire. The Supreme Court will weigh whether Medicaid waivers allow HHS secretaries the "power to fundamentally transform Medicaid from a public insurance program into one that effectively forces certain beneficiaries to seek workplace benefits instead," according to The Commonwealth Fund. The court's stance on the issue will affect how Medicaid work requirements will play out in the future.

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