Statement Following Judge’s Ruling Rejecting Arkansas’ Medicaid Work Requirements

March 27, 2019

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.March 27, 2019 — In response to today’s court ruling regarding work requirements for the Arkansas Works program, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network of Arkansas released the following statement:

“U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled today that the Arkansas work requirement program for Medicaid recipients cannot stand. This ruling will help ensure that cancer patients and other Arkansans who are at-risk for cancer will not be denied access to timely, appropriate and lifesaving health care and treatment services provided through the state’s Medicaid program.

“Arkansas was a national leader in 2017 when the state expanded Medicaid. The proportion of residents who were uninsured in 2013 was 16 percent, and after the state expanded its Medicaid program the rate fell to 7.9 percent in 2016 and 2017.

“Since work requirements were implemented in June 2018, more than 18,000 Arkansans lost access to Medicaid coverage.

“Medicaid expansion through Arkansas Works brought much-needed healthcare to tens of thousands of our family, friends and neighbors. Providing access to health coverage is essential to Arkansans detecting, treating and surviving cancer, and any delays in treatment can mean the difference between a good or bad outcome for a cancer patient.

“Preserving access to Medicaid without administrative barriers, such as work requirements, is essential to ensuring cancer patients, survivors and those with other serious diseases can get the care they need.

“ACS CAN looks forward to working with policy makers in Arkansas to preserve access to health care for low-income state residents.”