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As expected, Kentucky’s newly approved Medicaid work requirements are now being challenged in court, on behalf of 15 named plaintiffs who depend on Medicaid but would not be able to comply with the state’s new mandates.

What they’re saying: The lawsuit challenges HHS’ approval of Kentucky’s waiver on two grounds, including a vi0lation of the Constitution’s “Take Care Clause.”

1. The lawsuit claims HHS’ approval decision violates the Constitution’s “Take Care Clause,” which directs the executive branch to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

  • This will be a tough one to win. The courts haven’t relied on this clause much, and even when they have, it’s sometimes been interpreted as a grant of executive authority as much as responsibility.

2. The challengers also say HHS violated the Administrative Procedures Act by approving a waiver that, in their view, does not further the goals of the Medicaid program (a requirement for the type of waiver Kentucky obtained) and did so without going through the full notice-and-comment rulemaking process.

  • This is roughly the set of claims legal experts anticipated, and will likely form the bulk of this legal debate, both in Kentucky and as it expands along with more waiver approvals.

Reminder: Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has directed his administration to pull out of the Medicaid expansion entirely if the courts ultimately block his work requirements from taking effect, so there’s a lot riding on this lawsuit.

Go deeper

Muslim families hope to reunite following Biden's travel ban repeal

Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Muslim Americans across the U.S. are celebrating President Biden's day-1 reversal of former President Trump's travel ban that targeted several Muslim-majority countries.

The big picture: The repeal of what many critics called the "Muslim ban" renews hope for thousands of families separated by Trump's order.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  4. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  5. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries.
  6. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Health

Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.