Kentucky's Medicaid work rules approved — again
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin swings a mallet at a campaign stop in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
The Trump administration last night re-approved Kentucky's proposal to add work requirements to its Medicaid program, with few changes from the original plan — even though that plan was struck down in court.
What's happened: Kentucky's initial proposal won federal approval in January. It required Medicaid recipients in the commonwealth to perform at least 80 hours of "community engagement" — work, job training or community service — per month.
- In June, a federal judge blocked the new rules from taking effect, in response to a lawsuit that said work requirements are fundamentally at odds with Medicaid's purpose as a source of health coverage.
- But the judge gave the Trump administration a chance to strengthen its justification for approving Kentucky's waiver proposal and try again.
- In response, the federal Medicaid agency reopened the public comment period for Kentucky's plan.
By the numbers: Some 12,000 people have lost their Medicaid coverage already in Arkansas, the first state to successfully implement Medicaid work requirements — a sign that these policies are an effective way to curb overall Medicaid enrollment.