Lawsuit Filed Against Matt Bevin’s Medicaid Requirements

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

A group of legal advocates have filed a lawsuit against Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's work and job training requirements for Medicaid enrollment.

Rather than file a lawsuit against the Kentucky state government, the lawsuit has been filed against the Trump regime for granting the waiver for the new requirements.

Calling Medicaid "the cornerstone of the social safety net," health law advocates have filed a federal lawsuit aimed at blocking work requirements and other changes to Medicaid that Gov. Matt Bevin plans to enact in Kentucky, making it the first state to do so under new federal standards. [...]

"The President lacks the authority to rewrite congressional statutes or to direct federal officers or agencies to effectively amend the statutes he is constitutionally required to execute," said the lawsuit filed by the Washington-based National Health Law Program, the Kentucky Equal Justice Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The lawsuit was filed in Washington under the jurisdiction of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

I would say the Fourth Circuit is not friendly territory for the Trump regime under Chief Judge Merrick Garland, but it's hard to say what will happen in this case. My gut says that regardless of what happens at the district or appeals court level, this case could eventually end up in front of the Supreme Court because it will have implications for other Republican state governments that may be considering their own work requirements.

As you know, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin threatened to rescind all of Medicaid expansion if a court strikes down his work requirements so I suppose we'll find out sooner rather than later how serious he is.

If his work requirements are struck down, I find it just as likely that an order to arbitrarily rescind Medicaid expansion would also be struck down.

Is Bevin going to tell a federal judge that he's delivering a body-blow to the health and economy of Kentucky because his feelings were hurt? Because a different federal judge gave an order he didn't like?

  • Nefercat

    I feel really bad for the Kentuckians who will be harmed by Bevin, but these are the same people who didn’t want to give up their Kynect (Obamacare) and suffer the horror that was Obamacare. How many of them voted for trump and his bragging lies about the fabulous health care he would give them?

    At any rate, this is a critically important case and I sure hope it ends up with a judgment on the the side not only of the law, but of humanity.

  • Badgerite

    Medicaid is not welfare. It is a social good that allows people who are ill but low income to consult a physician. What the FFFF is wrong with these people? It isn’t as if you get a lot of money put in your pocket to spend or anything. What you get is access to medical care if you are ill. Nothing more than that. What in the world is the justification for a ‘work’ requirement or ‘educational training’ on budgetary matters? As if you are some kind of slacker if you cannot afford the exorbitant cost of health insurance in this country. Not that many people can on their own. Most who have insurance have it through employers who can get better group rates. But if the employer mandate goes, there will be less and less of those people.

    • Either Bevin and his ilk are ignorant of the fact that the majority of Medicaid of recipients are already working or can’t work OR it’s just red meat for the base. Either way, they have no business effing with it. Seems to me the modern GOP will step over anyone, literally the elderly and children in this case, in order to garner more power.

      • Nefercat

        Bevin and his ilk may be fully aware of the true financial and employment situation of those on Medicaid, but there is no reason to think they wouldn’t happily lie their asses off about it.

        • Magali

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    • JMAshby

      About 1 in 5 people in Kentucky are on Medicaid (23% of the state), but it’s not because they don’t want to work; it’s because their jobs pay poverty wages and offer few if any benefits.

      • Badgerite

        Yes and that has to do with the overall state economy. I think what these added work requirements, etc, are for is to make the people on Medicaid feel as if they are somehow less than everyone else for signing up for Medicaid and to shame them into not applying for it. Which is pretty despicable.

  • muselet

    No matter what the Fourth decides, this will end up before the Supremes, where anything can happen. My guess is a 5-4 decision one way or the other.

    And once again, the fate of the vulnerable is in the hands of the one Charlie Pierce calls Anthony “Weathervane” Kennedy.


  • ninjaf

    The good thing about them filing against the Feds is that it will prevent it from happening in all states, if it is successful.