Saturday, March 30, 2019

Trump’s Medicaid Fraud

Trump’s Medicaid Fraud

The current Medicaid work rules amount to a deliberate attack on the Affordable Care Act, which allowed an expansion of Medicaid for those who could not afford health care but did not qualify for Medicaid under the older and draconian poverty requirements.

Medicaid recipients receive medical benefits like doctor or hospital visits, but not funds they can use to support themselves. Medicaid appropriations go to venders who provide the services. Therefore, Medicaid recipients have no choice but to find work, or to starve.

What state governors call work rules are really just rigmarole designed to trick people or to get recipients ensnarled in a complex labyrinth of regulations and bureaucracy that justify removing them from the rolls. Trump aficionados like Seema Verma, HHS administrator, know that perfectly well as does the Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, who patronized the Federal Judge who would not go along with the deception.

States like Arkansas have established elaborate rules that require recipients to report they are already working to government administrative authorities in order to receive benefits. Authorities have not always made clear recipients would be expected to log into the Internet and report their work each month. Those who did not obey, or understand, these requirements find they are removed from the rolls; those who lost one of their low paid jobs and did not meet other rules and regulations can find themselves removed as well.

If ever there were useless regulations these are it. The Washington Post [Amy Goldstein, March 29, 2019] quoted Governor Hutchinson that “I remain fully committed to a work requirement, and we are in this for the long haul because we believe it is the right policy.” Really!

Work requires a transaction where someone gets paid for their time doing specific work. No such transaction takes place for Medicaid recipients that allows a “work requirement.” The Trump Administration Medicaid regulations, and Governors like Asa Hutchinson who apply them, choose to make and enforce a deliberate fraud.

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