US Supreme Court to hear Medicaid work requirement appeals

December 5, 2020 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court will review a federal appeals court ruling that struck down work requirements for Medicaid services in Arkansas and New Hampshire.

The court on Friday agreed to the requests and consolidated the two cases.

“I am grateful the U.S. Supreme Court will weigh the merits of this case,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement. “The ability of a state to conduct Medicaid demonstration projects like Arkansas Works is of national significance. It has always been our goal to provide healthcare to an expanded population of Arkansans while also providing tools for them to achieve economic stability and independence.”

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National Health Law Program Legal Director Jane Perkins, one of the attorneys who represented Medicaid recipients, predicted the high court will uphold a February ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The judge’s ruled unanimously that the goal of Medicaid is to provide health care coverage and that work requirements lack specific legal authorization.

“While we firmly believe that these petitions did not merit review, we are confident that the Supreme Court will ultimately conclude that these agency actions were not legal,” Perkins told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.