LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas has nearly doubled the number of people removed from its expanded Medicaid program over a new work requirement that’s the subject of a federal lawsuit.
The state Department of Human Services on Monday said more than 4,100 people lost their Medicaid coverage for not complying with the rule. It requires some beneficiaries to work 80 hours a month for three months in a calendar year. The department last month said more than 4,300 people had lost coverage because of the rule.
The department said another 4,800 people will lose coverage if they don’t meet the work requirement by the end of this month.
Arkansas was the first state to enforce the requirement after the Trump administration said it would allow states to tie Medicaid coverage to work.
Arkansas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Henderson sent out the following release about the Medicaid cuts:
“I believe our governor should prioritize making it easier to access affordable health care, not harder. Last week, Asa Hutchinson admitted he was unable to lead his own Republican supermajority in the state legislature to reauthorize Medicaid expansion unless he included this internet requirement, which has received national recognition for its failure and disastrous consequences for Arkansas and our families. We should demand a better standard of leadership for our state.
This negligent internet reporting policy jeopardizes our rural hospitals and their staff as thousands will be receiving uncompensated care after losing their health insurance. Arkansans know that access to quality healthcare allows them to show up for work and provide for their families, and this internet requirement is a bureaucratic barrier to that success.”