Work requirements for Medicaid could lead to major changes in the social safety net under President Donald Trump.
In a break from past policy, the federal Health and Human Services department has notified governors it stands ready to permit new state programs encouraging work.
Separately, an amendment to the still-stuck House GOP health care bill would allow any state to require work or training for adults, with such exceptions as pregnant women or parents of a disabled child.
The federal-state Medicaid program for low-income people covers more than 70 million U.S. residents — about 1 in 5 — including an increasing number of working-age adults.
In a letter to governors, HHS Secretary Tom Price and Seema Verma, head of Medicare and Medicaid, suggest that work can be good for health.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.