Top Medicaid official to leave post next month

Top Medicaid official to leave post next month

Brian Neale, a top Medicaid official in the Trump administration, is leaving his post next month, officials announced Tuesday.

Neale is the deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) overseeing Medicaid.

His departure comes amid a major conservative change in Medicaid, allowing states to impose work requirements on enrollees, a move the administration announced earlier this month.

Neale had helped shepherd those changes.

It is not clear where he is going or why he decided to leave.

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“Next month, Brian will be leaving CMS to pursue other opportunities, and I wanted to write today and recognize the extraordinary dedication Brian brought to the job and our team, and thank him for his tireless service to the agency,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma wrote in an email to CMS staff Tuesday.

Verma noted his involvement in the work requirements push.

“We expect more states to take advantage of the new demonstration opportunity to promote community engagement among Medicaid beneficiaries, a policy Brian improved significantly as he guided its development,” Verma wrote.

Democrats have sharply criticized the change, saying the Trump administration is undermining Medicaid and will cause people to lose coverage.

Advocacy groups are exploring the possibility of suing to stop the changes. So far, Kentucky is the only state where work requirements have been approved, but about 10 states are applying, and more approvals could come soon.