Federal Court Rejection of Onerous Kentucky Medicaid Requirement Is a Victory for Consumers

(BOSTON, MA) – Statement of Robert Restuccia in response to a ruling today by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg that blocks implementation of Governor Matt Bevin’s (R-Kentucky) harmful Medicaid waiver, which would have imposed an onerous maze of requirements, lock outs and other barriers to health coverage on thousands of Kentucky Medicaid enrollees.

“Today’s ruling by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg striking down onerous, bureaucratic requirements under Kentucky’s Medicaid program is a victory for Kentuckians and an outright rejection of the Trump and Bevin administrations’ attempt to undermine the objectives of the Medicaid program by placing barriers between people and the care they need.

“For states still pursuing similar misguided policies, today’s ruling should underscore the flawed premise and shaky legal ground for such an approach. The Kentucky waiver proposal, which was on the cusp of implementation, would have caused irreparable damage to the health and economic security of hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians, locking individuals out of coverage and taking away critical benefits. It would have made people jump through burdensome administrative hoops just to see their doctor, or, in too many cases, cause people to lose their health care coverage. It also flew directly in the face of what Kentuckians want for their state’s Medicaid program. A poll earlier this year found that two out of three registered voters in Kentucky said Medicaid should be left as is instead of scaled back under the Bevin administration’s plan to cover fewer people.

“With this decision, the federal court has sharply rebuked Governor Bevin, his administration, and officials at CMS for aiming to punish people who are struggling to make ends meet while working multiple jobs, raising kids or dealing with ongoing health issues. Such unprecedented policies in Medicaid are not about promoting health or work – they are about taking health coverage away from low-income people.

“Community Catalyst will continue to support our partners and allies in the states as they fight against harmful proposals that create additional barriers to high-quality, affordable health coverage and care.”

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About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. Headquartered in Boston, Community Catalyst has offices in Washington, DC, Atlanta, New York, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @HealthPolicyHub.

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