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Trump administration appeals judge's decision to block Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky, Arkansas

April 11, 2019 / Paige Minemyer

The Trump administration will appeal a judge’s decision to block Medicaid work requirements in two states. The Department of Justice on Wednesday filed appeal notices for rulings that rejected such requirements in Kentucky (PDF) and Arkansas (PDF), taking the cases to the District of Columbia Circuit Court. District Judge James Boasberg ruled last month that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services failed to consider the central goal of the Medicaid program—to provide coverage to low-income individuals—in approving work requirements in the two states. It’s the second time he rejected the Kentucky HEALTH program on such grounds. CMS reapproved the state’s waiver with few changes. They also once again failed to consider coverage losses in its approval, he said. Failing to estimate coverage losses in its second approval was, on its own, “fatal” to that program, Boasberg said.