Federal court unanimously strikes down Trump plan to push people off Medicaid

Federal court unanimously strikes down Trump plan to push people off Medicaid
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump insisted that unlike other Republican candidates, he had no desire to “gut” Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Yet Trump’s administration has allowed some states to require Medicaid recipients to be working or preparing for a job in order to receive their benefits — a move that has been drawing criticism from Trump critics. And on Friday, a federal appeals court struck down Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas.


The decision, made by a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, was unanimous. And all three judges agreed that health officials in the Trump administration had been “arbitrary and capricious” when they allowed Arkansas to launch its Medicaid work program, Arkansas Works, in 2018.

“Failure to consider whether the project will result in coverage loss is arbitrary and capricious,” the panel wrote, noting that during the first five months Arkansas Works was in effect, over 18,000 Medicaid recipients were dropped in that state.

Although the ruling was specifically made in response to Arkansas Works, the Washington Post’s Amy Goldstein reports that it could “deter other states that are eager to enact such requirements but that have held back amid uncertainty over their legality.”

A spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, speaking to the Post, did not say whether or not it planned to appeal the three-judge panel’s ruling. According to the spokesperson, “CMS is reviewing and evaluating the opinion and determining next steps.”

#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.