Judge Halts Kentucky Medicaid Work Requirements
HHS Failed to Consider If Work Rules Would Reduce Access to Health Care
Washington, D.C., —Today a federal judge ruled the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) failed to adequately consider how Kentucky’s proposed Medicaid work rules would effect residents’ access to health care as required under federal law. The ruling halts implementation of the state’s proposal which would have required Medicaid recipients to work, volunteer or otherwise engage in community activity in order to receive benefits.
Thirteen states have applied to the federal government to implement similar work requirements. Kentucky was the first state to receive approval for its request.
A statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:
“Medicaid is an essential source of health coverage for 2.3 million Americans with a history of cancer and millions more who are at risk for the disease. The program enables patients to get timely cancer screenings, appropriate cancer treatment and long-term follow-up care. As cancer treatment can sometimes be debilitating, patients often find themselves unable to work or are advised not to by their physicians. Meeting reporting requirements or maintaining work to keep their Medicaid coverage could be overly challenging for cancer patients and survivors due to ongoing symptom management and could result in worse health outcomes.
“Preserving access to Medicaid without additional obstacles, like work requirements, is essential to ensuring cancer patients and those with other serious diseases can get the care they need.
“We will continue to work with states across the country to expand access to quality health care.”