Wisconsin submits request to drug test Medicaid applicants – Chicago Tribune

Wisconsin submitted a federal request Wednesday to become the first state in the country to drug test applicants for Medicaid health benefits

Republican Gov. Scott Walker expects President Donald Trump‘s administration to approve the waiver, which would also impose new requirements on able-bodied, childless adults receiving Medicaid in the state. The request comes as Walker, a one-time GOP presidential candidate, prepares for a likely re-election bid.

Since first proposing the idea, Walker said he received more than 1,000 public comments, which were attached to the waiver request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Walker said he made some changes, including not requiring an initial drug test if applicants are willing to enter a substance-abuse treatment program. Another change would allow applicants who refuse treatment to reapply for benefits once they agree to a program.

The proposal has been chastised by advocates for the poor who say the plan won’t result in more people becoming drug-free. They said it would simply be another hurdle for people in need.

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