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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.

The new comments were overwhelmingly opposed to Kentucky's work requirements, yet the federal government reapproved the same policy last night with essentially no changes.

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.

Go deeper

U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The economy added 379,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dropped from 6.3% to 6.2%, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Why it matters: The first Biden-era jobs report shows hiring surged as coronavirus cases eased — though a full recovery remains far off. Economists expected the economy to add roughly 182,000 jobs last month, after adding a paltry 49,000 in January.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Workers are getting a really bad deal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week's spate of data highlighted the difficulties Americans who have lost their jobs have had bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, and just how much those who have managed to keep their jobs have been working.

What's happening: The Labor Department reported Thursday that the productivity of American workers fell by a revised 4.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the largest decline in 39 years.

FBI: Trump appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The FBI on Thursday arrested former State Department aide Federico Klein, a Trump appointee who worked on the former president's 2016 campaign, on charges related to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, according to a court filing.

Why it matters: The 42-year-old Klein is the first member of the Trump administration to be arrested in connection with the insurrection, which led to the former president's second impeachment and charges against over 300 people.