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Press Release

Medicaid Work Requirements Threaten Women’s Health and Economic Security

Posted on January 11, 2018

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance to State Medicaid Directors permitting states to apply for waivers that would condition Medicaid eligibility on fulfillment of work requirements. The guidance reverses long-standing federal policy rejecting state attempts to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients and provides states with considerable flexibility in determining the parameters of the work requirements.

The following is a statement by Gretchen Borchelt, NWLC Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health:

“The Trump Administration’s misguided permission that allows states to impose work requirements threatens Medicaid coverage for millions—especially the over 17 million women enrolled in the program. These are women who are providing care to relatives, working in low-wage jobs, furthering their education, or managing chronic health conditions. Forcing them to work to get the coverage they need could mean the loss of vital health services like mental health, preventive care, birth control coverage, and maternity care. Today’s action willfully ignores the evidence that work requirements are not a lever out of poverty. Instead, they punish those who need Medicaid to stay healthy and economically secure.”

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For immediate release: January 11, 2018
Contact:  Maria Patrick (mpatrick@nwlc.org) or Olympia Feil (ofeil@nwlc.org)