02.14.2020 / Press Release
Statement: Families USA Applauds the Ruling Made Today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to Protect the Health of People and Families in America
Washington, D.C. – Families USA senior director for policy Eliot Fishman, Ph.D. released the following statement regarding the unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, that the approval of work requirements by the Department of Health and Human Services was “arbitrary and capricious.”
Families USA Applauds the Ruling Made Today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to Protect the Health of People and Families in America
“We are relieved but not surprised with this unanimous decision by the federal appeals court. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has a broad authority to implement Medicaid demonstrations but is held to an explicit mandate to promote the core objectives of Medicaid using that authority, not pull an end-around Congress and the rule of law.
“The court did not buy the Trump administration’s bad faith arguments that work requirements and other barriers to coverage help improve health. Medicaid is about providing health care coverage and access to care. Any waiver needs to promote those objectives. In Arkansas, more than 18,000 people lost their coverage because of work requirements in just four months. The court found that taking coverage away from people is the opposite of promoting Medicaid’s objectives.
“Medicaid’s focus is the provision of health care for those in need—low-income families, adults, children, and other vulnerable populations. Policies that make it harder for people to get health insurance run counter to the program’s purpose. Given the court’s decision—handed down by judges appointed by presidents of both parties—the high cost to implement, and the overwhelming evidence that they simply don’t work, the message to states is clear: It is time to stop pursuing work requirements.”