To Stop Medicaid Work Requirements in Arkansas, 3 Groups Sue Trump Administration

August 15, 2018 AT 8:15 AM

By Tami Luhby

Three consumer groups are suing the Trump administration in an effort to halt the implementation of work requirements in Arkansas' Medicaid program.

The administration earlier this year approved Arkansas' request to require certain Medicaid recipients to work 80 hours a month or lose their benefits. The mandate went into effect on June 1 for enrollees who are between the ages of 30 and 49, not disabled and don't have dependent children at home. It will expand to those age 19 to 29 next year.

The National Health Law Program, along with Legal Aid of Arkansas and the Southern Poverty Law Center, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. on Tuesday. The suit charges that approval of Arkansas' waiver runs counter to Medicaid's objective of providing the poor with access to health care.

It comes about six weeks after consumer groups successfully stopped the implementation of work requirements in Kentucky. A district court judge slammed the Department of Health and Human Services for not considering the waiver's detrimental impact on enrollees. The administration is seeking to address the court's concerns and has reopened the application for evaluation.

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