Kentucky Medicaid Fight Enters Round Two
Opponents of Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed Medicaid changes are mounting another court challenge, putting the question back before the same federal judge who struck down the state's initial waiver offering in 2018.
Call it a sequel to Kentucky’s legal fight over Medicaid – and the cast looks familiar.
Last year, the Bevin administration submitted a second 1115 waiver, after the first was overturned by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in June. The revised waiver again won the green light from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, despite predominantly negative feedback collected during an open comment period.
Now the National Health Law Program, Kentucky Equal Justice Center, and the Southern Poverty Law Center have submitted an amended complaint – calling the work, volunteer, or job training requirements in the waiver “onerous.”
"Both parties agreed to stay before the same judge," says Dustin Pugel with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy." So it's the same judge, virtually the same complaint, the same waiver. It'll be interesting to see where we go from here."
Pugel says it will take another ruling from U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg to halt implementation of the changes, which also include premiums and new reporting requirements.
"The last time the judge was aware that there was a pending implementation day of July 1st and he entered a ruling the weekend before that, so the new implementation date is April 1st and I imagine similarly both parties would want him to make some sort of a decision before we get to that point," he explains.
The state has been holding a series of forums, sending out notices, and generally laying the groundwork for the changes.