Gov. Brian Kemp’s administration in turn has told federal officials that any attempt to rescind approval for the requirements would be “arbitrary, unreasonable, and unlawful.”
The delay spelled out in the letter this week adds time for Georgia to negotiate with Washington over their differences.
Georgia has the nation’s third-highest rate of uninsured people, behind Texas and Oklahoma.
The Affordable Care Act gave all states the opportunity to expand Medicaid to their entire poor population, with the federal government paying at least 90% of the cost of the expansion. Georgia is among 12 states that did not fully expand.
Instead, the Kemp Administration worked with the Trump Administration to craft its plan and seek a waiver of parts of the federal law to implement the limited expansion with work requirements. Such waivers are allowed so that states can experiment with ways to tailor programs to their individual needs.
The Trump Administration approved the waiver in its final weeks.
Kemp’s aides estimated that the plan would eventually extend Medicaid coverage to about 50,000 of the state’s 400,000 uninsured low-income adults. Among those who would not qualify are those taking full-time care of an aging relative, for example.
The aides maintain that the requirements are not just about work but other specified activities that would help people lead healthier lives and eventually afford private insurance.