FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky has become the first state to win approval from the Trump administration requiring many of its Medicaid recipients to work to receive coverage.
The Trump administration gave the approval Friday. People between the ages of 19 and 64 must complete 80 hours per month of "community engagement" to keep their benefits. That includes getting a job, going to school, taking a job training course and community service.
Senator Mitch McConnell said, "Today’s announcement by CMS is a step toward taking the power out of Washington and sending it back to the state while also ensuring the long term fiscal sustainability of the Medicaid program.”
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin says the plan will save state taxpayers more than $300 million over the next five years. He also estimates about 95,000 people will lose their Medicaid coverage either by not complying with the work and community engagement requirements or by losing their eligibility because they make too much money.
Congressman John Yarmuth said, “By approving Governor Bevin’s dangerous and irresponsible Medicaid waiver, the Trump administration has agreed to end health coverage for 95,000 Kentuckians."
Yarmuth added, "Thousands of Kentucky families will face financial ruin. Governor Bevin and President Trump are creating an entirely unnecessary crisis in our Commonwealth for entirely political reasons.”