Kentucky’s Medicaid Work Requirement Struck Down by Federal Judge

ACS CAN Urges Gov. Bevin to Keep Medicaid Expansion

March 27, 2019

Frankfort, KY.–March 27, 2019–Today, a federal judge ruled against Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky. Kristy Young, director of government relations in Kentucky for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), made the following statement in reaction.

“Today a federal judge ruled 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 and Arkansas. The judge’s ruling prevents Kentucky from moving forward with similar requirements slated to begin in July.

“Gov. Bevin had previously stated that he will roll back Medicaid expansion if work requirements were struck down. ACS CAN urges Gov. Bevin to reconsider this decision. Maintaining access to comprehensive and affordable health care coverage through state Medicaid programs is a matter of life and survivorship for countless low-income cancer patients and survivors in Kentucky.

“For the 26,400 Kentucky residents who will be diagnosed with cancer in 2019, access to affordable, comprehensive care is essential to preventing, treating and surviving the disease. In Kentucky, cancer is the leading cause of death and an estimated 10,580 Kentuckians will die from the disease this year. Kentucky also has the highest death rate from cancer in the United States.

“The health coverage provided by Medicaid programs helps to improve outcomes and reduce the burden of cancer by offering access to prevention services; timely cancer screening and early detection services; as well as affordable treatment services and care. Preventing cancer is much less expensive than treating it and ensuring that low-income individuals and families continue to have access to comprehensive, affordable health care coverage is one of the most critical ways that we can reduce cancer incidence and mortality.”

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit


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Michelle Zimmerman
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