Hearing for NH Bill to Repeal Medicaid Work Mandate
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
CONCORD, N.H. - People who receive Medicaid benefits in New Hampshire soon will have to prove they're working or volunteering at least 100 hours a month. But the idea of ending that requirement is making some headway in the Legislature.
Backers of House Bill 690 want to repeal the work requirement passed last year. The bill gets a public hearing today in the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee. State Rep. Rebecca McWilliams, D-Merrimack, a co-author of the bill, questioned whether the work mandate serves the purpose of Medicaid.
"The goal of Medicaid is to furnish medical assistance to citizens," she said. "And so, does this 100-hour-a-month work and community engagement requirement actually furnish medical assistance to citizens?"
Five House Democrats are sponsoring the bill. The committee hearing is to start at 2 p.m. in Room 205 of the Legislative Office Building. Meanwhile, a state Senate bill proposes reducing the requirements, including lowering the work mandate to 80 hours a month. McWilliams said one of the major hurdles for the bill could be the federal government, which approved the work requirement last year.
"Anything that we do now to change the bill, there is that potential to be losing our federal funding, because we're trying to modify a program that has already been reviewed by the federal government."
In Arkansas, the first state to implement a work mandate for Medicaid, nearly 17,000 people have lost their coverage since the requirement started in June. A federal oversight panel in the fall recommended the state pause the requirement because of the sudden drop in coverage.
McWilliams said she believes Montana's Medicaid program would be a better example for New Hampshire to replicate.
"We should be looking at the things that other states have done well, like Montana, with their voluntary program," she said. "It focuses on training and getting a GED, rather than requirements, reporting."
The New Hampshire work mandate is expected to begin in March.
The text of HB 690 is online at legiscan.com.
get more stories like this via email
ARLINGTON, Va. -- As a Northern Virginia school system transitions away from using police officers in schools, a new report suggests COVID stimulus …
DES MOINES, Iowa -- In five weeks, voters in many Iowa cities will cast their ballots for local elections, and the Secretary of State's office is …
AURORA, Colo. -- School districts across Colorado had to get creative to ensure families could access critical meals during pandemic-related closures…
SUPERIOR, Wis. -- Legal proceedings continue involving a proposed natural-gas plant for northwestern Wisconsin. The plans have been approved by state …
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Draft rules are out for a program designed to confront climate change in Oregon, but organizations say it does not go far enough to …
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers are slated to vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill Thursday…
Health and Wellness
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A veterinary drug doctors call unsafe for treating COVID-19 has caused the deaths of two people in New Mexico, according to the …
RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed sweeping criminal-justice reform into law this month that is meant to hold police more …