Seema Verma pushes for work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries

Indian American Seema Verma added that the agency will create sustainable programs to help those who are unable to care for themselves.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announced new CMS policies on Tuesday.  According to the press statement by the agency, the policies aim to “encourage states to propose innovative Medicaid reforms, reduce federal regulatory burdens, increase efficiency, and promote transparency and accountability.”

Verma announced her future plans for Medicaid at the plenary session at the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) Fall Conference in Arlington, Virginia.

“Our vision for the future of Medicaid is to reset the federal-state relationship and restore the partnership, while at the same time modernizing the program to deliver better outcomes for the people we serve,” said Verma. “We need to ensure that we are building a Medicaid program that is sound and solvent to help all beneficiaries reach their highest potential.”

In a significant shift from the policies of the Obama administration, Verma underscored the agency’s commitment to considering proposals that would give states more flexibility to engage with their working-age, able-bodied citizens on Medicaid through demonstrations that will help them rise out of poverty, the statement said.

“Every American deserves the dignity and respect of high expectations and as public officials we should deliver programs that instill hope and say to each beneficiary that we believe in their potential,” Verma said. “CMS believes that meaningful work is essential to beneficiaries’ economic self-sufficiency, self-esteem, well-being, and health of Americans.”

Verma added that the agency will create sustainable programs to help those who are unable to care for themselves. She said, “For those that just need a hand up, we will provide you the opportunity to take charge of your health care and assist and empower you to rise out of poverty and government dependence to create a better life for yourselves and your family.”

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