HHS/LAWSUIT/MEDICAID/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “A federal judge on Friday [6-29-18] struck down the Trump administration’s approval of a Kentucky plan to impose work requirements on many Medicaid recipients, a ruling that could have a chilling effect on other states seeking new rules for the program covering 75 million people. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Axar hadn’t adequately considered whether the proposal would help the state provide medical assistance to residents, which he noted was a central objective of Medicaid. As such, he said, the approval was ‘arbitrary and capricious.’ The judge vacated the HHS approval and sent the proposal back to the department for further review. Kentucky had hoped to save about $33 million as it reduced the number of beneficiaries by about 90,000 through the new requirements under its new Medicaid program, called Kentucky HEALTH. The decision comes in a lawsuit in federal district court in Washington, D.C., filed by advocacy groups over the requirement. It sought class-action status on behalf of the plaintiffs and asserted that the changes to Medicaid, a federal-state program, are illegal and go beyond the administration’s authority. Mr. Bevin, a Republican, pushed the new Medicaid rules in his state requiring many recipients to work or volunteer to get or maintain benefits. He also issued an executive order saying that Kentucky’s expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act would end if courts strike down any of the changes. About 400,000 Kentuckians received coverage under the expansion. The plan was approved by the Trump administration in January.”

-Stephanie Armour, “Judge Blocks Kentucky’s Plan for Work Requirements on Medicaid,” The Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2018 5:48 pm