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Court Ruling In Medicaid Work Requirement Case Could Throw Wrench In N.H.'s Plan

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A federal judge blocked work requirements in the state of Kentucky's Medicaid program last Friday.

New Hampshire has similar requirements as part of its renewed Medicaid expansion.

The law would require people between the ages of 19 and 64 to work, study, job train or do community service for 100 hours a month.

There are some exemptions to this rule for caregivers, people with disabilities and parents with kids under 6.   

It's unclear what the court ruling in Kentucky means for New Hampshire's new law. But Dawn McKinney, policy director for New Hampshire Legal Aid, says there's not clear research that work requirements make people healthier. 

"In fact we have a lot of research with other public programs that have work requirements about the negative effects work requirements have on people, creating even more extreme poverty for example,” she said.

New Hampshire's requirements would go into effect next January. The Comissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services could not be reached for comment. 

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She also leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.

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