Medicaid Work Requirements

February 25, 2020

ACS CAN and other public health organizations celebrated a major victory on Medicaid when the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously ruled that the US Department of Health and Human Services acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” when it approved state work requirements that would have significantly cut access to Medicaid.

ACS CAN filed an amicus curiae (“friend-of-the-court”) brief along with other patient and provider groups opposing work requirements being imposed on Medicaid beneficiaries in the case of Stewart v. Azar. We urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to uphold a lower court ruling finding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) violated federal law by approving work requirements and other barriers to eligibility for Medicaid recipients in Kentucky. The brief argues that imposing work requirements would cause thousands to be disenrolled from Medicaid, leading to worse health outcomes; even many who can satisfy the work requirements would be disenrolled because of complex administrative barriers; and that coverage gaps would leave patients with bills they cannot afford, potentially forcing rural providers to close because of uncompensated care.

The groups included in the brief are: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American College of Physicians, American Heart Association, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, Catholic Health Association of the US, March of Dimes, and National Alliance on Mental Illness.