Federal judge blocks Kentucky's Medicaid work requirements
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB & AP) -- A federal judge has blocked Kentucky's work requirements for Medicaid and has ordered the Trump administration to reconsider Gov. Matt Bevin's plan to overhaul the program.
Bevin sought to remake the state's Medicaid program -- which provides health insurance for the poor -- by requiring that recipients work or volunteer in their communities to maintain coverage and pay premiums based on their income.
U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg on Friday overturned the Trump administration's approval of Bevin's overhaul and blocked the changes from taking effect as scheduled on Sunday.
Boasberg ruled Trump's Department of Health and Human Services did not adequately consider whether the work requirements and other changes would help the state give its residents access to health care. Because of that, Boasberg said the Trump administration's decision was "arbitrary and capricious."
"(T)he record shows that 95,000 people would lose Medicaid coverage (under Bevin's plan), and yet the Secretary (of Health and Human Services) paid no attention to that deprivation," Boasberg wrote in the decision.
Kentucky was the first state in the country approved to require some of its Medicaid recipients get a job or do some other type of work to keep their Medicaid benefits.
Bevin has vowed to eliminate Medicaid coverage for more than 400,000 people if his proposal is ultimately struck down. Those Kentuckians gained coverage under the Obama-era expansion of Medicaid made possible by the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
Bevin tweeted a statement from CHFS Secretary Adam Meier in response to the ruling Friday evening:
Here is a copy of Boasberg's ruling:
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