Obama takes heat for correcting Medicaid loophole

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President Obama drew criticism from disability rights activists Monday after signing a bill that will count Social Security benefits as income for purposes of determining eligibility for Medicaid.

The legislation — which also repealed a 3% withholding tax that affects nursing homes that receive Medicare payments and offers tax incentives for employers who hire veterans — closed a loophole in the Affordable Care Act that would have ignored Social Security income in determining Medicaid eligibility.

Critics argue that the legislation makes it too difficult for some disabled individuals to qualify for some of the long-term care services covered by Medicaid. Nearly 1.8 million Social Security disability enrollees must wait two years before they qualify for Medicare coverage, but would have eligible for Medicaid under the old policy, The Hill reports.

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