Work Requirements For Medicaid On The Table For Gov.-Elect Brad Little

Jan 3, 2019

Governor-elect Brad Little doubled down on including some extra restrictions to Idaho’s impending Medicaid expansion.

It’s still unclear what these add-ons to the Gem State’s Medicaid program will look like, but Little says work requirements are on the table.

“We ought to have a safety net, it’s incredibly important. It’s our obligation to have a safety net, but we ought to have spring in the safety net,” Little says.

The federal government would have to sign off on any kind of extra requirements tied to the expansion, and has done so for five other states.

Arkansas is one of them. Through November, nearly 17,000 people there have lost Medicaid coverage because they didn’t work at least 20 hours a week or properly report it.

“I don’t want to create – and I believe the legislature doesn’t want to create – a secondary gap, but we want to put in the utmost incentives for people to continue to move from Medicaid on to other coverage,” Little says.

Advocates have called on state lawmakers to simply fund the Medicaid Expansion as-is, but House Speaker Scott Bedke says that’s not likely.

“The legislature’s never left anything alone in their history and I doubt they will on this one,” Bedke says.

The Idaho Legislature will gavel in Monday when Governor-elect Little gives his first State of the State address.

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