Federal judge strikes down 2 states’ work-requirement for Medicaid

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In November, voters approved a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid to assist Utah’s most in-need families and individuals.  In the recent legislative session, however, Utah lawmakers began a process to repeal and replace the initiative. On Wednesday afternoon, a federal judge ruled for the second time against work-requirement programs in Medicaid programs in Kentucky.

Also  a work-requirement program very similar to what Utah lawmakers said they’ve been looking to design in the state was struck down by a federal judge in Arkansas. On KVNU’s For the People program on Wednesday, Courtney Bullard,  education and collaborations director at the Utah Health Policy project, talked about what this means for Utah.

“SB 96, which was Prop 3 cut up into lots of pieces and then reworked, one of the biggest parts of it has now been struck down at the federal level. That’s just kind of the first step towards what we’re hoping what will happen…that we get the full Medicaid expansion that ‘s going to bring the best type of coverage to the most amount of people in Utah,” said Bullard.

The original, full Medicaid expansion was set to go into effect on April 1st.  She said they are anticipating some coverage for certain people to happen on that date. Then, she said, the state will begin the long, arduous process of requesting all the other waivers including the work requirement waiver. Bullard said lawsuits are already geared up in Utah that will go to the same federal court that has ruled in the state cases.

AUDIO: Courtney Bullard talks to Jason Williams on Wednesday’s (3/27) For the People show

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