Jenner & Block

Appellate Court Rejects Barriers to Medicaid Program, Giving Victory to Medicaid Enrollees

On February 14, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in Gresham v. Azar.  At issue in the case was the Trump administration’s attempt to approve a restrictive Medicaid waiver project that, among other things, conditioned eligibility for Medicaid coverage on compliance with work requirements.

Led by Partner Ian Heath Gershengorn, the firm argued on behalf of Medicaid enrollees affected by the waiver project.  The firm was joined by the National Health Law Program, Legal Aid of Arkansas and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In a unanimous opinion issued by Judge David Sentelle, a three-judge panel found that in approving the project without considering its effect on Medicaid coverage, the US Department of Health and Human Services violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

“We are pleased with the DC Circuit’s decision today.  It makes it clear that the administration cannot simply ignore the devastating real-world consequences of its policies,” said Mr. Gershengorn, who argued the case. “This is a victory for thousands of Americans who can now continue to have access to health coverage and health care.”

In addition to Mr. Gershengorn, the firm team included Partners Devi M. Rao, Thomas J. Perrelli and Clifford W. Berlow; Associates Lauren J. Hartz, Claire M. Lally, Joshua M. Levin and Skyler J. Silvertrust; and former associates Zachary Blau, Natacha Lam and Samuel Jacobson.