Follow-Up: Eyes on Kentucky Work Requirements

NYAPRS News:  As. we continue to follow Medicaid requirement legal battle, the statement from healthcare advocates Community Catalyst and The Washington Post news release speak to the consumer victory  of  the Kentucky lawsuit to block the state’s Medicaid Work Requirements and other barriers to health coverage for thousands and the article of U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg vacating sending the state’s program, Kentucky HEALTH, back to HHS for further review.  We will continue to watch other states “pursuing misguided ... unprecedented policies in Medicaid which are not about promoting health or work – they are about taking health coverage away from low-income people.”

 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 29, 2018

Contact: Kathy Melley

Federal Court Rejection of Onerous Kentucky Medicaid Requirement Is a Victory for Consumers

(BOSTON, MA) – Statement of Robert Restuccia in response to a ruling today by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg that blocks implementation of Governor Matt Bevin’s (R-Kentucky) harmful Medicaid waiver, which would have imposed an onerous maze of requirements, lock outs and other barriers to health coverage on thousands of Kentucky Medicaid enrollees. “Today’s ruling by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg striking down onerous, bureaucratic requirements under Kentucky’s Medicaid program is a victory for Kentuckians and an outright rejection of the Trump and Bevin administrations’ attempt to undermine the objectives of the Medicaid program by placing barriers between people and the care they need.

“For states still pursuing similar misguided policies, today’s ruling should underscore the flawed premise and shaky legal ground for such an approach. The Kentucky waiver proposal, which was on the cusp of implementation, would have caused irreparable damage to the health and economic security of hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians, locking individuals out of coverage and taking away critical benefits. It would have made people jump through burdensome administrative hoops just to see their doctor, or, in too many cases, cause people to lose their health care coverage. It also flew directly in the face of what Kentuckians want for their state’s Medicaid program. A poll earlier this year found that two out of three registered voters in Kentucky said Medicaid should be left as is instead of scaled back under the Bevin administration’s plan to cover fewer people.

“With this decision, the federal court has sharply rebuked Governor Bevin, his administration, and officials at CMS for aiming to punish people who are struggling to make ends meet while working multiple jobs, raising kids or dealing with ongoing health issues. Such unprecedented policies in Medicaid are not about promoting health or work – they are about taking health coverage away from low-income people.

“Community Catalyst will continue to support our partners and allies in the states as they fight against harmful proposals that create additional barriers to high-quality, affordable health coverage and care.”

Families USA statement on Kentucky Work Requirements

https://familiesusa.org/press-release/2018/federal-court-rejects-governor-bevin-and-trump-administration%E2%80%99s-illegal-attack

Federal Court Rejects Governor Bevin and Trump Administration’s Illegal Attack on Health Care for Vulnerable Families

Washington, D.C.—Today, Federal Judge James E. Boasberg rejected Governor Bevin and the Trump administration’s attempt to fundamentally alter Kentucky’s Medicaid program and make it much harder for vulnerable families to receive health care. Specifically, the court ruled that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) did not have the legal authority to approve a request by Governor Bevin to tie Medicaid eligibility to onerous work requirements and new administrative burdens on families. These changes would have represented a significant move backward for the people of Kentucky, who have experienced the second largest drop in its uninsured rate since the Affordable Care Act took effect. To see Families USA’s Interactive Map describing changes occurring across the nation to state Medicaid programs please click here.

 

Following is the statement of Frederick Isasi, executive director of Families USA:

“This is a victory for the people of Kentucky who rely on Medicaid for life-saving health care. The federal court reached the right decision today, stopping Kentucky from moving forward with its plan to fundamentally change the program and kick at least 100,000 people out of coverage. Medicaid is about giving access to life-saving care and allowing families to live to their full potential. Governor Bevin’s illegal proposal that was approved by the Trump administration was misguided and ill-informed. Most Medicaid enrollees that are not elderly or disabled are in families that are working. Let’s stop perpetuating stereotypes and stop trying to take health care away from families.

 

“This decision reinforces the basic constitutional principle that the executive branch has a duty to uphold, not unilaterally change or deliberately sabotage, laws passed by Congress. Today’s court decision emphasizes Medicaid’s mission: Medicaid is about health insurance. Period. And policies that make it harder for people to get health insurance run counter to the program’s purpose.

“These work mandates and lockout provisions are not about helping people get jobs – they’re about kicking people off the Medicaid program.

“Today’s win means that nearly 100,000 Kentucky residents will continue to be able to see their doctors, stay healthy, and take care of their families. And it should give pause to the Trump administration, Kentucky, and other states seeking illegal and harmful Medicaid changes that take health care away from Families."