Judge blocks Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirement

June 29, 2018, Modern Healthcare, Harris Meyer- “There’s no sweeping pronouncement that you can never have a work requirement,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University, who opposes the Kentucky waiver. “But the court is very clear that when the Secretary exercises Section 1115 authority, the secretary must show with evidence how the demonstration will advance the core purpose of Medicaid, which is to insure people.” But James Blumstein, a Vanderbilt University law professor, found Boasberg’s opinion unpersuasive. “I thought the point of an experiment is to find out what happens,” he said. “But the court worries that the agency has not considered the outcomes, which is something that occurs once the experiment develops the evidence.” Despite the caveats, Friday’s ruling was cheered by ACA supporters, who see Medicaid work requirements as political camouflage for the Trump administration and GOP state leaders to slash the number of people receiving Medicaid and roll back the ACA’s coverage expansion. “Striking down Medicaid work requirements on the legal merits is a big roadblock in the way of instituting such requirements, not only in Kentucky but in any red states that are thinking of moving forward,” the University of Michigan’s Bagley said.

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