Arkansas Medicaid work rules rejected by appeals court

Medicaid work requirements took another hit Feb. 14 when a federal appeals court panel sided with a lower court's ruling that struck down the rules for Arkansas' Medicaid beneficiaries, according to The New York Times.

The panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the work rules, which require Medicaid enrollees to provide documentation of work, volunteering or job training to maintain health insurance benefits, were "arbitrary and capricious." The three-judge panel said when HHS Secretary Alex Azar approved the work requirements in Arkansas, the agency failed to address how the change would ensure the objective of Medicaid — to provide health coverage to the poor — was maintained.

The Trump administration has approved Medicaid work rules in 10 states, according to the Times. Only Arkansas has implemented the rule. Judges in New Hampshire and Kentucky have struck down the requirements.

CMS did not immediately clarify whether the Trump administration will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. The agency "is reviewing and evaluating the opinion and determining next steps," a CMS spokesperson told the Times.

Read the full report here.

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