Tag: presidency of Donald Trump

Trump administration seeks to require more people to work for food stamps
Welfare

Trump administration seeks to require more people to work for food stamps

The Trump administration wants more food stamp recipients to work for their benefits.
The Agriculture Department will seek comments on how to get more able-bodied adults who don’t have dependent children into the workforce, agency officials announced Thursday.
Thursday’s announcement is the latest in a series of steps that the Trump administration is taking to impose work requirements on various safety net programs.
The food stamp program already requires childless adults to work.
Adults without minor children can only receive benefits for three months out of every 36-month period unless they are working or participating in training programs 20 hours a week.
However, states can waive that requirement for areas where unemployment is at least 10% or there is an insufficient number of jobs, as defined by the Department of Labor.
The budget proposal calls for limiting the waivers to areas where unemployment is at least 10% over 12 months. “Past decisions may have been the easy short-term choice, but USDA policies must change if they contribute to a long-term failure for many SNAP participants and their families.”
About one-third of the country typically lives in an area that waives the work requirement, according to the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Under the Trump budget, only 1.3% of the nation would, according to the center’s analysis of a similar proposal last year.

White House wants to deliver food to the poor, Blue Apron-style
Welfare

White House wants to deliver food to the poor, Blue Apron-style

Think of it as Blue Apron for food stamp recipients. “USDA America’s Harvest Box is a bold, innovative approach to providing nutritious food to people who need assistance feeding themselves and their families — and all of it is homegrown by American farmers and producers,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a statement. “It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] participants currently receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers.”
Part of the president’s fiscal 2019 budget blueprint, the idea immediately sparked concerns and questions among consumer advocates and food retailers.
They feared it would upend a much-needed benefit for more than 80% of those in the program.
Here’s how it would work: Instead of receiving all their food stamp funds, households would get a box of food that the government describes as nutritious and 100% grown and produced in the U.S.
The box would be valued at about half of the SNAP recipient’s monthly benefit.
The administration didn’t detail exactly how families would receive the food boxes, saying states could distribute them through existing infrastructure, partnerships or directly to residences through delivery services.
The proposal would save nearly $130 billion over 10 years, as well as improve the nutritional value of the program and reduce the potential for fraud, according to the administration.
Plus, it could be difficult for families to pick up the box, especially if they don’t have a car.

The Trump administration’s Medicaid announcement isn’t really about ‘work’
Welfare

The Trump administration’s Medicaid announcement isn’t really about ‘work’

The views expressed here are solely hers.
Don’t be fooled.
Nearly eight in 10 adult beneficiaries who aren’t disabled live in working families; most are working themselves.
So, the main impact of work requirements will be to eliminate health coverage for large numbers of low-income people, most of whom gained coverage through the Medicaid expansion — including people who are already working but don’t meet state paperwork requirements and those who can’t work due to illness or disability.
Although the announcement says states must protect people who can’t meet a work requirement because of illness or disability, don’t hold your breath.
If work requirements have the same impact in Medicaid, that will weaken the Medicaid expansion, furthering a key administration goal.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator, Seema Verma, has said the ACA’s Medicaid expansion didn’t “make sense,” and last year the administration and the Republican Congress failed in multiple tries to repeal it outright.
For example, studies show that charging premiums in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program reduces coverage for both children and adults: Fewer people enroll, more people leave the program, and people spend less time on the program.
Yet the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will likely soon allow Kentucky and Indiana to charge premiums to poor adults and cut off their coverage or charge them more to get care if they don’t pay — and to cut them off if they’re not working.
It has also helped people work: Studies of Medicaid expansion in Ohio and Michigan found that the majority of beneficiaries said that getting health coverage helped them look for work or remain employed.

State of the Union: In Ohio, the Trump presidency brings change – both welcomed and resented
Welfare

State of the Union: In Ohio, the Trump presidency brings change – both welcomed and resented

We asked some Ohio voters – some who voted for Trump, some who voted against – how they’re doing after a year under Trump’s presidency.
Wang doesn’t want another war to commemorate on his walls. “No one knows what to make of the president, even after one year,” Wang said.
He wishes he could vote for Trump more often Chris Cruit Age: 37 Residence: Lancaster Voted for: Donald Trump Chris Cruit voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. “I wish the presidency was every two years so I could vote for him four times in the next eight years instead of just twice,” Cruit said.
Chandler grew up in the 1930s and 1940s in a military family. “He had an aura,” Knox said, sitting in his office at his company, Knox Machinery.
Knox didn’t like where the country was going before 2017.
Jeff Ardnt Age: 71 Residence: Lancaster Voted for: Hillary Clinton Football coach Jeff Ardnt worries about what he sees as increased anger and division after a year of Trump.
They settled in Cincinnati.

USDA prioritizes work for food stamp qualifiers in farm bill proposal
Welfare

USDA prioritizes work for food stamp qualifiers in farm bill proposal

Washington (CNN)The Trump administration, through the Department of Agriculture, released an outline of priorities for farm legislation that calls for having food stamp recipients work, which has been a longtime priority for conservatives.
The USDA document also pushes for cutting “regulatory burdens” and monitors other countries that “impede US agricultural exports.”
The data also showed that 44% of food stamp participants lived in households with earnings, and nearly two-thirds of participants were children, elderly or had disabilities.
The farm bill is monumental legislation — a bill with funding that sometimes tops $100 billion — that sets the eating and farming policy in the United States, including what we grow, what you know about your dinner and how much the government spends in the process, for about five years.
The last one was signed by then-President Barack Obama in 2014.
The bill funds programs within the USDA. “If you’re on disability insurance and you’re not supposed to be — if you’re not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work.” “I appreciate the secretary’s input and look forward to working with the department as we continue to write the Farm Bill.”
The top Democrat on the committee, Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, told reporters at the Capitol she appreciated the input from the USDA but that many food stamp recipients are already working. “Many, many people on food assistance are working,” she said.

You Should Not Need a Job to Get Help
Welfare

You Should Not Need a Job to Get Help

This is particularly obvious when it comes to demanding work for health care, yet it’s true as well for other programs on which Republicans want to impose work requirements.
But many of the people who receive Medicaid and don’t work all the time have good reason not to.
“I know people that work three jobs and they live next to somebody who doesn’t work at all.
Republicans have already targeted food stamps.
“There’s a necessity to work to help the country succeed.” Housing assistance is also, apparently, included in the welfare umbrella.
In the 1990s, as part of that original effort to change cash assistance, a strict work requirement was included under the idea that it would get people “off welfare and into work,” in President Bill Clinton’s words.
But many people who were shoved off cash assistance didn’t land in paid employment.
In Maryland, over a third of people had no job at all within five years of losing enrollment.
Even if someone who can do it won’t work, does that mean he deserves poor health?
Is denying food to a poor, starving person all that different?

What Medicaid’s Work Requirement Means For Seniors, People With Disabilities, And Their Caregivers
Social Security Disability

What Medicaid’s Work Requirement Means For Seniors, People With Disabilities, And Their Caregivers

The Trump Administration announced last week that it will allow states to require Medicaid recipients to work, take job training, or do community service to stay eligible for the program, which provides both medical and long-term care services for people with low incomes.
What will the requirement mean for older adults, younger people with disabilities, or their family caregivers?
The Trump Administration would leave their Medicaid eligibility up to the states.
That’s not unusual: One-quarter of family caregivers say they spend 40 hours a week helping relatives.
Children qualify if they are under age 19, students under age 24, or if they are “permanently or totally disabled.” They must also live with their caregiver for at least half the year.
Who is a dependent?
In Kentucky, because her parents may not meet the definition of a dependent, she may be subject to the work requirement.
According to its proposal, “caregiving services for a non-dependent relative or other person with a disabling medical condition” satisfy the 80 hours per month work requirement.
But Kentucky’s caregiving exception may not apply in other states that impose work requirements.
Most who can work, already do.

Trump administration opens the way for a Medicaid work requirement
Welfare

Trump administration opens the way for a Medicaid work requirement

Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said work and community involvement can make a positive difference in people’s lives and in their health.
It was expanded under President Obama, with an option that has allowed states to cover millions more low-income adults; many have jobs that don’t provide health insurance.
The administration’s latest action spells out safeguards that states should consider to obtain federal approval for waivers imposing work requirements on “able-bodied” adults.
The administration said 10 states — mostly conservative ones — have applied for waivers involving work requirements or community involvement.
Advocates for low-income people say they expect Kentucky’s waiver to be approved shortly.
Advocates for low-income people said work has never been a requirement for Medicaid, a program originally intended as a health program for the poor and disabled.
A study from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that a surprising number of working-age adults on Medicaid are already employed.
Kaiser polling last year found that 70% of the public support allowing states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, even as most people in the U.S. were against deep Medicaid cuts sought by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration.
These include: —exempting pregnant women, disabled people and the elderly.
“Medicaid is a health program that is supposed to serve people who don’t otherwise have coverage.”

Trump Administration Says States May Impose Work Requirements for Medicaid
Welfare

Trump Administration Says States May Impose Work Requirements for Medicaid

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said Thursday that it would allow states to impose work requirements in Medicaid, a major policy shift in the health program for low-income people.
Federal officials said they would support state efforts to require able-bodied adults to engage in work or other “community engagement activities” as a condition of eligibility for Medicaid.
Ms. Verma said the Trump administration was responding to requests from Medicaid officials in 10 states that wanted to run demonstration projects testing requirements for work or other types of community engagement like training, education, job search, volunteer activities and caregiving.
The proposals, she said, came from Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.
Advocates for Medicaid beneficiaries said the new policy was likely to be challenged in court if people were denied coverage for failure to meet a state’s work requirement.
Federal law gives the secretary of health and human services broad authority to grant waivers for state demonstration projects that promote the goals of the Medicaid program.
In the past, federal officials said that work was not one of the purposes of Medicaid.
But Trump administration officials said Thursday that work requirements were consistent with the goals of Medicaid, because work and other community engagement activities could improve the health of Medicaid beneficiaries.
“Productive work and community engagement may improve health outcomes,” Brian Neale, the director of the federal Medicaid office, said Thursday in a letter to state Medicaid directors.
“For example, higher earnings are positively correlated with longer lifespan.” In addition, Mr. Neale said, researchers have found “strong evidence that unemployment is generally harmful to health,” while employment tends to improve “general mental health.” A 2013 Gallup poll found that unemployed Americans are more than twice as likely as those with full-time jobs to say they have or are being treated for depression, Mr. Neale said.

Trump administration allows states to make Medicaid recipients work
Welfare

Trump administration allows states to make Medicaid recipients work

The Trump administration will allow states for the first time to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a guidance Thursday outlining what states need to do to mandate that certain Medicaid enrollees work to qualify for benefits.
The agency is expected to start approving state waivers promoting “community engagement activities” in coming weeks. “Medicaid needs to be more flexible so that states can best address the needs of this population.
States should take these issues — as well as recipients’ employability — into consideration and allow for modifications or exemptions, the agency said.
Many governors, including Republican ones, have defended the Medicaid program as being critical to addressing the substance abuse crisis.
States will be required to describe strategies to assist recipients in meeting the requirements and to link them to job training and support resources, including child care and transportation.
The agency is encouraging states to align their Medicaid work requirements with those mandated by other federal safety net programs.
Republicans have long wanted to add work requirements to the Medicaid program, which covers nearly 75 million low-income children, adults, elderly and disabled Americans.
South Dakota’s governor said in his State of the State address Tuesday that he would also look to require certain recipients to work.