April 18, 2019

On March 27, a firm team secured pair of major victories in the US district court for the District of Columbia.  Judge James Boasberg ruled that the federal government failed to justify its approval of waivers in Kentucky and Arkansas that would have imposed a work requirement as a condition of eligibility for Medicaid benefits in those States.  Those rulings followed a similar ruling Judge Boasberg made in June 2018 involving the government’s first approval of Kentucky’s waiver application.  The invalidation of the government’s waiver approval allows for tens of thousands of people in Kentucky and Arkansas to maintain their health coverage.  Judge Boasberg held that the government had failed to adequately consider the impact the waivers would have on the tens of thousands of Medicaid recipients who would have lost health coverage had the waivers gone into effect.  In his opinion, Judge Boasberg emphasized that a “central objective” of the Medicaid Act is to “furnish medical assistance to the populations covered by the Act,” yet the government had failed to “adequately analyze” the “project’s implications for such assistance or coverage.”

Since its inception, Medicaid has eased the financial burden and worry of recipients in terms of health care, which in turn allows them to live, work and participate fully in their communities.  To secure this victory, our firm partnered principally with the National Health Law Program, and also worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Kentucky Equal Justice, and Legal Aid of Arkansas.  The successful team included Jenner & Block Partners Clifford W. Berlow, Ian Heath GershengornThomas J. Perrelli and Devi M. Rao and Associates Zachary Blau, Lauren J. Hartz, Natacha Y. Lam, Joshua M. Levin and Skyler J. Silvertrust.
This win received media coverage from CNN and Politico.  To read more about the team’s previous win click here