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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder delivering a speech. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

State lawmakers in Michigan have abandoned an effort to exempt some residents from proposed work requirements in the state's Medicaid program, AP reports.

The impact: The aborted exemption was an effort to soften proposed work requirements. If those restrictions ultimately pass, there would be no exemption for anyone who might have a hard time finding a job in their area. The bill will likely include a temporary grace period as an alternative, per the AP.

  • Some Michigan lawmakers want to add work requirements to the state's expanded Medicaid program, but had proposed an exemption for people who live in counties with a particularly high unemployment rate.
  • Although that might seem like a common-sense exemption, in Michigan it would have disproportionately benefitted largely white, rural areas.
  • In cities like Detroit and Flint, with larger black populations, inner-city unemployment is high but suburban employment drives down the total rate for the county. So, poor people in those cities still would have been subject to the work requirements even though jobs are scarce where they live.

What's next: The same issue is playing out in Ohio.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

1 hour ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

2 hours ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.