White House to Sidestep Judge’s Block on Medicaid Work Requirements

white house to sidestep judges block on medicaid work requirements
White House to Sidestep Judge's Block on Medicaid Work Requirements

The Trump administration says it has a way to sidestep a federal judge’s ruling that stopped Kentucky’s plan to introduce work requirements for Medicaid recipients and allow states to continue with their restrictions.


In June, Washington Federal District Court Judge James Boasberg blocked the plan, saying the administration had not considered the state’s estimate that 95,000 people would lose insurance coverage under the plan and that limiting coverage does not meet Medicaid objectives,  reports The New York Times.


However, administration officials now say they can get around Boasberg’s decision by better explaining the reasoning behind work requirements. They say the judge had ruled they did not follow proper procedure, so they intend to show they have reviewed the evidence.


To that end, additional comments are being sought on the proposal, with a deadline set for next Saturday.


People who oppose work requirements say such rules punish people who can’t get jobs, and block programs that could help them stay employed. The administration, though, said they believe work requirements lessen reliance on government programs while improving physical and mental health.


“We suffered one blow in a district court in litigation,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “We are undeterred. We are proceeding forward. We are fully committed to work requirements and community participation requirements in the Medicaid program. We will continue to litigate. We will continue to approve plans.”


Federal officials have approved work requirements in Arkansas, Indiana, New Hampshire and Kentucky, while Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin are seeking permission in the form of waivers.



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