Trump's Medicaid move may prod GOP states to expand

January 23, 2018 - 1:35 pm

The Trump administration's embrace of work requirements for low-income people on Medicaid is prompting lawmakers in some conservative states to resurrect plans to expand health care for the poor.

Trump's move has been criticized by some as threatening Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. But if states follow through, more Americans could get coverage.

Eighteen states have turned down the expansion. But Republican lawmakers in at least two of those holdout states — Kansas and Utah — now are again considering it.

There's an economic argument for Medicaid expansion since it translates to billions of federal dollars for hospitals and medical service providers. But Republican Mike Leavitt, a former U.S. health secretary and Utah governor, says the ability to impose work requirements adds an ideological motivator.

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