Court of Appeals Upholds Decision Vacating Medicaid Work Requirements in Arkansas

February 14, 2020

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously upheld the decision reached by a federal district court last year overturning HHS’ approval of Arkansas’ Medicaid waiver, that, among other things, imposed work requirements. The court found that approval of the waiver violated the Administrative Procedure Act because HHS did not consider how the waiver would further “the principal objective of Medicaid,” providing access to healthcare.

The court also importantly notes that while the objectives of Medicaid do include promoting independence that refers to the provision of “rehabilitative and other services, not financial independence from government welfare programs,” which is the primary objective of work requirements.

We will continue to monitor this litigation and other efforts to implement work requirements around the country. For more, visit our page on Medicaid work requirements here.