A justice department lawyer defending the Trump administration’s approval of work requirements for Medicaid recipients in Kentucky and Arkansas told a panel of federal appeals court judges Friday that the new rules were intended to help low-income people by encouraging them to join the workforce.
The three-member panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit seemed skeptical about that and other claims government lawyers made about the purpose and purported effects of the requirements, says Amy Goldstein of The Washington Post. One judge said that the administration was “failing to address the critical statutory objective” of the Medicaid program – namely, providing health care to vulnerable populations.
Nine states have received permission from the Department of Health and Human Services to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, and several more have applied to do so. The experiments have been hung up with legal challenges, however, as groups representing low-income citizens have sued to overturn the requirements.