Obama open to states requiring Medicaid members to have jobs
Two Republican governors say the Obama administration seems more open and willing to compromise on Medicaid expansion plans, including using work requirements as a condition for Medicaid eligibility. In fact, Govs. Pat McCrory (N.C.) and Gary Herbert (Utah) said they believe President Barack Obama will soon approve their alternative expansion programs, reported The Hill.
More and more so-called nonexpansion states are considering Medicaid expansion, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. Most state leaders want to place conditions on enrollment, whether it's job requirements, plan premiums or certain types of wellness screenings.
Speaking to reporters after a White House meeting on Tuesday, Herbert said he discussed his Healthy Utah plan, which includes a work requirement for Medicaid recipients, with the president.
Hebert said Obama was "very positive" about the work requirement, which has previously stalled Medicaid expansion conversations with the feds. He added that Obama said he would reach out to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to "'revisit this discussion and see if we can get closer to where you'd like to be,'" KSLTV reported.
Meanwhile, McCrory said he expected to have an "immediate dialogue" with Burwell about North Carolina expanding its Medicaid program. Like Hebert, McCrory wants to require either a job or job training for individuals to be eligible. He said Obama "said he would be open to certain waivers that I'm looking at to potentially present to my legislature," according to the Charlotte Observer.
"We did not get assurances, but I thought we got a pretty good response about what the governor of Utah and I are thinking along the same lines," McCrory said after the meeting. "We want to encourage people to continue to explore job opportunities and training opportunities to get the people jobs and to become independent of government, not become dependent on government."