Friday Five: Unstable insurance markets, work requirements for food stamp recipients & changes to government technology

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April 20, 2018
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about state attempts to stabilize the ACA, how losing Medicaid coverage impacts prisoners and their families, work requirements for food stamp recipients, and changing government technology.

1. States race to stabilize Obamacare after Congress fails

Multiple states are hoping to pass legislation and receive federal approval for reinsurance programs and other approaches to stabilize the individual insurance market before June, according to the Washington Examiner. Without action, premiums are expected to rise again for 2019.

2. The high cost of taking away prisoners' Medicaid coverage

Federal rules mandate that Medicaid benefits cease when an individual is booked into jail, before trial or conviction. According to this article from CNN Money, that not only is a huge financial burden for local governments who are obligated to provide care during incarceration, but can leave individuals and their families without options for medical care for months.

3. Poll shows broad support for attaching work requirements to food stamps

A recent proposal, included in the Farm Bill, would require food stamp recipients to work or attend job training for 20 hours a week in order to receive benefits. Illinois News Network reports on the results of a recent poll, showing 80% of respondents support some form of work requirements. An estimated 1 million people could be dropped from the program within the next 10 years if the proposal becomes law.

4. Blockchain and US state governments: An initial assessment

State governments have begun using blockchain and its decentralized verification system for assorted government functions at different rates. In this report, Brookings sorts states by their current level of involvement with blockchain technology.

5. GSA chief says citizen services will be a focal point in FY2019

At a recent appropriations hearing, the General Services Administration emphasized their focus is on citizen services, IT modernization, and workforce development. According to FCW, one of four criteria the GSA uses to evaluate submissions to the Technology Modernization Fund is whether a project will improve citizen services.