Friday Five: Partial Medicaid expansion would cause loss of coverage; federal agencies should streamline paperwork required from the public

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August 17, 2018

In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about the impact of partial Medicaid expansion, the legality of Medicaid work requirements, SNAP, healthcare concerns among voters, and the burden of government paperwork requirements.

1. Partial Medicaid expansions miss the mark for access, care, policy group says

A recent study finds that partial Medicaid expansion, while beneficial for some adults currently falling into the “Medicaid gap,” would cause an overall loss of health coverage in states that have expanded Medicaid. AJMC reports that the Trump administration has postponed making a decision on partial expansion in three states until after the November elections.

2. HHS seeks to reverse court ruling nullifying Kentucky Medicaid waiver

In June, a district judge nullified the approval of a Kentucky Medicaid waiver introducing work requirements of 80 hours per month. According to the Epoch Times, the Department of Health and Human Services plans to prove they did fully consider all ramifications of the waiver, has reopened a public comment period, and intends to continue approving state waivers that include work requirements. The state estimated up to 95,000 individuals could lose coverage under the new waiver.

3. This program is helping Kentucky's food stamp recipients find jobs

Many food stamp recipients struggle to find stable employment. In this article, CNN profiles the Paths to Promise program, a pilot project that provides recipients with career coaching, job training, and financial assistance for transportation and childcare. Official results are not yet available, but anecdotally more participants are being hired, receiving certifications, and becoming more economically stable.

4. Healthcare is the No. 1 issue for voters; a new poll reveals which healthcare issues matters most  

Healthcare is the #1 issue for potential voters according to a recent poll in the New York Times. In this Forbes blog post following up on those results, a contributor surveyed a subset of readers to see which healthcare issues were the most important. Affordability issues like the cost of prescriptions, single payer coverage and funding for Medicaid and Medicare were the top three responses.

5. The government’s paperwork problem is undermining public trust

Federal agencies, under the Paperwork Reduction Act, are supposed to strive to make government requests for information as efficient and easy on the public as possible. NextGov reports a recent audit found several agencies weren’t asking the public how much time it took to fill out requests, estimating the monetary costs of such time, nor consistently catching errors. The Government Accountability Office, who conducted the audit, has issued 11 recommendations for agencies to improve the process.