2 Medicaid work requirement updates

The Mississippi House advanced Medicaid expansion legislation that includes work requirements, while South Dakota lawmakers are putting a ballot issue on work requirements before voters in November. 

Here is more information about those Medicaid requirement updates: 

1. The Mississippi House voted 98-20 to pass legislation that would expand Medicaid in the state under the ACA, the Mississippi Free Press reported Feb. 28. 

The expansion bill includes work requirements, but the federal government could refuse to allow the state to implement it, according to the report. State Rep. Missy McGee said during a committee hearing that even if the federal government rejects Medicaid expansion, it would become law under the legislation. 

"The goal of the plan is to provide health insurance for working Mississippians," Ms. McGee said, according to the report. "We believe that at least 75-80% of this population is working, so we certainly don't want to not help them just because we might be helping another population who might not be working or able to work at the time."

The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration. If passed there, it goes before Gov. Tate Reeves, who is opposed to expansion. The Legislature could override his veto with a two-thirds vote from both chambers, according to the report. 

2. South Dakota voters will decide in the November election if the state can implement work requirements on its Medicaid expansion population. The issue is heading to the ballot after being approved by the state House and Senate. 

The issue was spearheaded by state Rep. Tony Venhuizen and state Sen. Casey Crabtree, who said the ballot question is the first step in a process that would also require approval from the federal government, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader

"If it passes, that doesn't mean we'll come back here in January and implement it, it just means we have the option," Mr. Venhuizen said, according to the report. 

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