Why the Court Once Again Struck Down Federal Approval of Medicaid Work Experiments

By Sara Rosenbaum: For More Info, Go Here…

The two new decisions handed down by a federal court this week (Stewart v. Azar and Gresham v. Azar) are the latest developments in the ongoing debate over whether employment should be a basic condition of eligibility of Medicaid for most working-age adults. The new decisions vacate U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approval of Section 1115 Medicaid demonstrations that allow both Kentucky and Arkansas to impose work as a requirement of coverage. Notably, the court halted the Arkansas experiment midstream, before any more people lose coverage.

Despite this legal development, on Friday the administration announced approval of Utah’s partial Medicaid expansion coupled with a work requirement.

The basic premise of work requirements is questionable, since most Medicaid enrollees are already working. Nearly eight in 10 nondisabled working-age adults with Medicaid live in working families, and the majority work full-time. Those who are not working report that they are caring for family members, struggling with their own health issues, or have been unsuccessful in finding employment.

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