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Press release
June 29, 2018

Federal Court Rejects Governor Bevin and Trump Administration’s Illegal Attack on Health Care for Vulnerable Families

Washington, D.C.—Today, Federal Judge James E. Boasberg rejected Governor Bevin and the Trump administration’s attempt to fundamentally alter Kentucky’s Medicaid program and make it much harder for vulnerable families to receive health care. Specifically, the court ruled that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) did not have the legal authority to approve a request by Governor Bevin to tie Medicaid eligibility to onerous work requirements and new administrative burdens on families. These changes would have represented a significant move backward for the people of Kentucky, who have experienced the second largest drop in its uninsured rate since the Affordable Care Act took effect. To see Families USA’s Interactive Map describing changes occurring across the nation to state Medicaid programs please click here.

Following is the statement of Frederick Isasi, executive director of Families USA:

“This is a victory for the people of Kentucky who rely on Medicaid for life-saving health care. The federal court reached the right decision today, stopping Kentucky from moving forward with its plan to fundamentally change the program and kick at least 100,000 people out of coverage. Medicaid is about giving access to life-saving care and allowing families to live to their full potential. Governor Bevin’s illegal proposal that was approved by the Trump administration was misguided and ill-informed. Most Medicaid enrollees that are not elderly or disabled are in families that are working. Let’s stop perpetuating stereotypes and stop trying to take health care away from families.

“This decision reinforces the basic constitutional principle that the executive branch has a duty to uphold, not unilaterally change or deliberately sabotage, laws passed by Congress. Today’s court decision emphasizes Medicaid’s mission: Medicaid is about health insurance. Period. And policies that make it harder for people to get health insurance run counter to the program’s purpose.

“These work mandates and lockout provisions are not about helping people get jobs – they’re about kicking people off the Medicaid program.

“Today’s win means that nearly 100,000 Kentucky residents will continue to be able to see their doctors, stay healthy, and take care of their families. And it should give pause to the Trump administration, Kentucky, and other states seeking illegal and harmful Medicaid changes that take health care away from Families."