Appeals Court Unanimously Strikes Down Medicaid Work Requirements

In Healthcare On

A federal appeals court on Friday struck down the Trump administration’s decision to allow states to compel some Medicaid recipients to work or prepare for a job in exchange for their health benefits.

In a unanimous decision that blocks the first state that had imposed work requirements, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that President Trump’s health officials had been “arbitrary and capricious” in allowing Arkansas to launch a Medicaid program called “Arkansas Works” two years ago.

The ruling marks the first time that an appellate court has weighed in on what has been one of the Trump administration’s signature attempts to push health policy in a more conservative direction. The DC Circuit is considered the nation’s top appeals court below the U.S. Supreme Court, and the 19-page opinion was written by a jurist appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

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