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Federal Court Skeptical of Administration’s Medicaid Work Requirements

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Federal Court Skeptical of Administration’s Medicaid Work Requirements

Monday, October 14, 2019
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Following up on our previously stated concerns on how Medicaid work requirements could affect people with disabilities and the Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who support them, we are sharing reporting by Politico Pro on a court challenge to the requirements.

Politico Pro wrote that “three-judge panel on Friday appeared skeptical of Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky, aggressively questioning Trump administration attorneys about how such rules advanced the health program's core mission.

The panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit voiced doubts that the administration’s rationale for approving the requirements — including that they could improve Medicaid enrollees’ health and help transition people from the safety net program to private insurance — outweighed Medicaid’s main objective to furnish coverage for the poor.”

Meanwhile, Politico Pulse shared that:

“A new Government Accountability Office study found that administrative costs to implement the Medicaid work requirement rules in five states — four of them embroiled in litigation — topped $400 million. GAO also dinged CMS for failing to require states to submit projections of those costs, saying the agency ‘puts its goals of transparency and budget neutrality at risk.’

The nonpartisan agency conducted the study at the request of Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Frank Pallone, who called the work requirements a ‘boondoggle’ in a press release.

CMS disputed the study, saying it drew on a ‘limited review’ and incomplete information. ‘The process for claiming administrative costs in community engagement demonstrations are no different than those for any other demonstrations and programs,’ a CMS spokesperson said, adding that the GAO didn't identify any unallowed spending. ‘[W]e will continue to work diligently to protect federal taxpayers against any impermissible spending.’