Nov 7, 2017

CMS will support Medicaid work requirements, Verma says

Verma wants to add new requirements for "working age, able-bodied adults.” Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

Seema Verma, the federal Medicare and Medicaid administrator, made clear in a speech this morning that the Trump administration intends to let states impose new requirements, including work requirements, on some Medicaid recipients. Using Medicaid "as a vehicle to serve working age, able-bodied adults does not make sense," Verma said.

Why it matters: Medicaid is the largest insurance program in the country. Verma has made clear she intends to roll back the program's ambitions — and she's begun laying out exactly how she aims to get there.

The details: Verma said her office "will approve proposals that promote community engagement activities" — which she defined as working, receiving job training, going to school or volunteering — as a requirement for able-bodied adults to receive Medicaid benefits.

  • By law, when the federal Medicaid office evaluates a state's proposed Medicaid waiver, it's required to consider whether those changes would "assist in promoting the objectives" of the Medicaid program.
  • The Obama administration drew a hard line against work requirements, saying they would not further Medicaid's objective of providing health insurance for poor people.
  • "Believing that community engagement requirements do not support or promote the objectives of Medicaid is a tragic example of the soft bigotry of low expectations consistently espoused by the prior administration. Those days are over," Verma said today.

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Former Vatican treasurer George Pell's sexual abuse convictions overturned

Cardinal George Pell at the County Court in Melbourne, Australia, in 2019. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

George Pell, the former Vatican treasurer, has won his appeal and had his child sexual abuse convictions overturned by Australia's High Court.

Why it matters: The cardinal became last year the highest-ranking Catholic Church official to go to trial and be convicted for sex abuse. But the High Court's ruling means he can be immediately released from prison, where he was serving a six-year sentence.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 31 mins ago - World

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll tops 10,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 10,000 in the U.S. on Monday, per Johns Hopkins data. More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died of coronavirus-related conditions each day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,341,907 — Total deaths: 74,476 — Total recoveries: 275,851Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 364,723— Total deaths: 10,781 — Total recoveries: 19,346Map.
  3. 2020 update: Wisconsin governor orders in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  4. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  5. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  6. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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