Gov. of Kentucky Matt Bevin didn’t get the ruling he was hoping for in court for his Medicaid overhaul plan and now his administration is making dental and vision coverage cuts for almost 500,000 residents.
On Friday, U.S. federal judge James E. Boasberg rejected Kentucky’s proposal to enact work requirements in the Medicaid program. The judge said Kentucky cannot require poor residents to have a job in order to keep Medicaid benefits, according to NBC.
Despite the decision last week, other states are moving forward with implementations of work requirements. Arkansas, New Hampshire and Indiana will begin to phase in their rules by January at the latest while Virginia and Arizona are seeking federal authorization to impose work requirements.
According to KHN, the federal court said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar “did not adequately take into account how many people would lose coverage for the work requirement and did not prove such a provision would improve enrollees’ health.”
called for enforcing work requirements that are already in the law and reviewing all waivers and exemptions to such mandates
President Trump signed an executive order on April 10 that called for enforcement of work requirements already on the books and reviewing all exemptions and mandates. The rejection by Boasberg could cause setbacks for the Trump administration’s plans.
Trump’s executive order read,
The federal government should do everything within its authority to empower individuals by providing opportunities for work, including by investing in federal programs that are effective at moving people into the workforce and out of poverty.
Cabinet spokesman Doug Hogan placed the blame for loss in vision and dental coverage on the judge in a statement, saying the ruling implies there is no longer a “legal mechanism” to pay for dental and vision coverage for about 460,000 Medicaid beneficiaries. Hogan said,
This is an unfortunate consequence of the judge’s ruling. Once we ultimately prevail in this legal challenge … then beneficiaries will have access to these optional services.”
Democratic state Rep. Joni Jenkins expressed her concern of “rash decisions” in light of the ruling and was quoted in the StarTribune saying,
“We have folks that are showing up for dental appointments that they made months ago and neither they nor the providers are really certain what the rules are. And that’s just unacceptable for government to be operating this way.”
For the full story on the Kentucky court ruling, visit NBC.
For the NYTimes article regarding Trump’s executive order, click here.
Read the KHN article here,
And checkout the StarTribune’s article here.