n Friday, the Administration and the state of Kentucky received a blow when a judge struck down the Medicaid work requirement that was set to go into effect on July 1. The ruling by Judge James Boasberg came late on Friday. The Judge directed the state to go back to CMS and HHS to review the request. The Judge indicated in his ruling that Medicaid waiver authority requires an effort to advance the programs objectives. Judge Boasberg said, “for starters, the Secretary never once mentions the estimated 95,000 people who would lose coverage, which gives the Court little reason to think that he seriously grappled with the bottom-line impact on health care.”
The Judge was also critical of the HHS response to the law suit that challenged the waiver, he said that HHS failed to provide “any information refuting plaintiffs’ substantial documentary evidence” that Kentucky’s action would reduce coverage. Kentucky Governor Matt Blevin (R-KY) has estimated that his desired work requirements for Medicaid recipients will reduce Medicaid coverage by 95,000 over four years.