The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities called press today to say that research shows Arkansas’s work reporting rule to qualify for Medicaid health coverage is unworkable (we knew that) and unfixable.

The rule has led to loss of coverage in Arkansas for 17,000, with thosuands more to come. Said the CBPP:

The Trump Administration has approved such work requirement proposals, known as waivers, in seven states: Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin. Additional proposals are pending from other states and may be approved by the Administration, despite the alarming evidence from Arkansas. More states may consider such proposals in their new legislative sessions. 

As CBPP’s experts will explain, the large coverage losses and unintended consequences seen in Arkansas are inherent to work requirements and can’t be fixed in other states.

Kaiser Family Foundation took similar note of Arkansas problems today.

Early experience in Arkansas, the first state to implement a work requirement in Medicaid, shows that the challenges reaching and informing enrollees about new requirements and enrollee difficulties navigating the online monthly reporting process and finding stable work can result in significant coverage losses. While evaluations are required for demonstration waivers, the evaluation plan related to the work requirement in Arkansas has not yet been approved. Litigation challenging the Arkansas waiver also is ongoing.

CBPP will talk more about its findings Thursday.


Speaking of the work rule, which could be met only by computer until a recent change to include some telephone help because of the lack of computer coverage in Arkansas and the poor functionality of the Arkansas system, the Democratic Party scored a good point on Gov. Asa Hutchinson last night with this tweet: