CMS' Verma recuses self from Kentucky Medicare work mandate decision: 5 key notes

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CMS Administrator Seema Verma is recusing herself from the agency’s pending decision on Kentucky’s Medicaid work mandate waiver, Kaiser Health News reports.

Here’s what you should know.

1. Kentucky wants CMS to grant a waiver to put its proposed work requirement into effect. The requirement would require Medical recipients to be dutifully employed to receive benefits. Ms. Verma helped Kentucky overhaul its plan last year, and is recusing herself because of a conflict of interest.

2. Kentucky is the first state to propose a work requirement for Medicaid recipients.

3. Former President Barack Obama’s administration routinely denied such requests. President Donald Trump’s administration is “open to allowing such a work requirement,” KSN reports.

4. Kentucky’s proposal is similar to Indiana’s Medicaid expansion proposal, which Ms. Verma’s policy firm Indianapolis-based Strategic Health Policy Solutions designed. Kentucky’s expansion, like Indiana, would require all enrollees to make small monthly contributions toward their coverage

5. Ms. Verma’s recusal did not surprise health policy experts. The experts believe CMS will approve the waiver. They expect Ms. Verma to recuse herself from CMS’ decision on Indiana’s upcoming Medicaid expansion waiver as well.

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