Judge Rules To Void Medicaid Work Requirements In 2 States

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Judge Rules To Void Medicaid Work Requirements In 2 States
The judge blocked the Trump administration's approval of requests from Arkansas and Kentucky to impose work requirements on Medicaid.
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A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration's approval of requests from Arkansas and Kentucky to impose work requirements on Medicaid.

On Wednesday, the judge voided the agreement with Kentucky and suspended an Arkansas work requirement program that began in June, sending the issue back to the Department of Health and Human Services for review. The Trump administration has pushed to let states require low-income residents to work in order to receive Medicaid benefits. 

Key to the judge's ruling was the issue of how the states' requests would work with Medicaid's main objective of providing coverage to low-income residents. According to the judge, it's still possible for the agency to justify the work requirements, but he does not believe they've done so.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he was "disappointed" in the judge's decision.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin went a step further. He threatened to eliminate the expansion of Medicaid in the state if the request is not approved. According to CNN, that could potentially take away coverage from nearly 450,000 people.