Arkansas governor urges fight for work requirement

Arkansas Democrat Gazette

By: Andy Davis

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday that he has urged federal officials to quickly appeal a judge’s ruling that struck down the work requirement for Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion program. In the meantime, he said, legislators should approve Senate Bill 99, which authorizes spending on the state’s Medicaid program, including the expanded part known as Arkansas Works.

Unless Boasberg’s rulings are successfully challenged on appeal or the Trump administration changes the way it approves requests for such requirements, “I think we’ll likely be seeing a kind of repeat,” of the decisions in the Arkansas and Kentucky cases, said Kelly Whitener, an associate professor at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families. At the same time, she said, an appeal of Boasberg’s ruling could result in an appellate ruling that goes farther than Boasberg’s in barring Medicaid work requirements. “It could get into the next-level question of does [Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar] have this authority at all,” Whitener said.

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