FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2013 file photo, former Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt participates in a news conference near the steps of the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. The Trump administration’s embrace of work requirements for low-income people on Medicaid is prompting lawmakers in some conservative holdout states to reconsider expanding the program. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Work requirements may prompt more states to expand Medicaid

January 24, 2018 - 12:27 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative state lawmakers who have resisted expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are re-thinking that stance now that the Trump administration is allowing work requirements for low-income recipients.

Expanding Medicaid to cover more low-income adults has meant billions of additional federal dollars for hospitals and medical service providers in the 32 states that have taken the option offered under what's commonly called Obamacare. But 18 conservative states including Texas and Florida have held out, often arguing against the expansion on ideological grounds.

Being allowed to impose work requirements may sway some conservatives.

In Utah, the office of Republican Gov. Gary Herbert says the Trump administration's willingness to approve work requirements is one of several concessions the state would demand to cover more poor residents through Medicaid.

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