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Press release
January 12, 2018

Trump Administration Approves Kentucky’s Request to Create Barriers to Health Coverage for Low-income Families

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Kentucky’s Medicaid waiver, allowing the state to base Medicaid eligibility on work status or “community engagement” – unpaid ‘volunteer’ work and locking them out of coverage for six-months if they are delayed in re-applying for Medicaid every year. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect and Medicaid was expanded in the state, Kentucky has experienced the second largest decrease in its uninsured rate in the entire country. To see Families USA’s Medicaid Interactive Map please click here.

Following is the statement of Eliot Fishman, senior director of health policy of Families USA:

“This is a giant step back for the people of Kentucky. Kentucky has seen the second largest decrease in its uninsured rate of any state thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Now their governor and the Trump administration are maliciously threatening health care coverage for a large percentage of Kentucky’s own citizens.  These attacks take the form of an array of cynical paperwork requirements designed to take coverage away from people: new work documentation requirements and unprecedented new “lockouts” from coverage for people who do not submit reports on income changes or annual eligibility redetermination forms.

“This is a sad day for the hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians who have gotten health care coverage since 2014, some for the first time in their lives. Their hopes now rest with a legal challenge to this waiver approval, a legal challenge that Families USA strongly supports. The courts are now the primary line of defense for all of Kentucky’s progress in getting its people access to quality health care.”

View our new fact sheet for more details about Kentucky's harmful waiver.

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Families USA, a leading national voice for health care consumers, is dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care and improved health for all.