It is unclear why she deferred deciding on Arkansas’ request to scale back its Medicaid decision. Deferring a decision on rolling back expansion could be a way of rejecting the application but in a less politically harsh way. Arkansas was one of the few Southern states to expand Medicaid under the ACA, a decision that brought hundreds of millions of federal dollars into the state.
Nine other states have requests pending with CMS to enact a Medicaid work requirement.
In Arkansas, enrollees who don’t work or volunteer at least 80 hours a month could lose coverage as early as September. The work requirement exempts many people, such as those with opioid addiction and parents with dependent children.
Ms. Verma said the work requirement “is about helping people rise out of poverty to achieve the American dream.”