Friday Five: Fall elections could shape Medicaid; safety net spending not just for the poor

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September 07, 2018
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about bots streamlining government services, how the November elections will impact Medicaid, who receives safety net funding, and how states compare on long-term services and supports.

1. OMB looks to bots to take on 'low-value' work

According to FCW, the Office of Management and Budget is expected to implement a plan this year to use automated bots for “low-value,” repetitive tasks within analysis and documentation. As part of a larger effort to reduce compliance requirements, the Office of Personnel Management is also planning to improve their candidate vetting process and the General Services Administration has migrated additional data to the cloud that will eliminate some redundant data collection on government-owned property and federal employees.

2. How the midterms could impact Medicaid

This fall, three states (Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah) are expected to vote on expanding Medicaid. For multiple others, elections for state office will impact health policy for years to come. Governing reports that Michigan, Ohio, Maine, Kansas, and Florida are likely to see the most effect on healthcare and health policy, depending on election results.

3. The rise of the middle class safety net

In this article from the Brookings Institute, the authors found an increasing share of safety net funding is now being provided to families above the federal poverty level. The majority of this increased spending comes from an expansion of Medicaid, CHIP, and SNAP requirements. The increasing number of households led by an elderly individual also plays a role.

4. Across the states: Profiles of long-term services and supports

AARP recently published a report providing state data and rankings on multiple factors that impact long-term services and support. The report features a profile, data and rankings for each state and found that overall the elderly population is growing and becoming more diverse, caregivers are likely to be in short supply, and state Medicaid systems are becoming more balanced, but still vary widely.

5. Trump says Congress should pass farm bill with food stamp work requirements

The House and Senate began meeting this week to work on reconciling competing versions of the farm bill. Currently, the House bill includes increased work requirements for SNAP benefits, while the Senate version does not, among other differences. U.S. News and World Report writes that President Trump both tweeted and told journalists that he supports a bill that would include the increased SNAP requirements.