Federal Court Tosses KY Gov. Matt Bevin’s Attempt to Undermine Legal Challenge to Medicaid Waiver Plan

Federal Court Tosses KY Gov. Matt Bevin’s Attempt to Undermine Legal Challenge to Medicaid Waiver Plan

Court Finds Bevin Administration Failed to Establish Standing

Washington – A U.S. District Court in Kentucky dismissed Governor Matt Bevin’s lawsuit that sought to scuttle the legal challenge from Kentucky Medicaid beneficiaries against the Trump administration’s approval of Bevin’s legally suspect Medicaid waiver plan that includes work requirements, lock outs, higher premiums and other limits on Medicaid eligibility in the state.

The National Health Law Program’s (NHeLP) Legal Director Jane Perkins said, “Our clients – the plaintiffs in Stewart v. Azar – exercised their rights to go court to vacate a Medicaid Section 1115 waiver that the Governor Matt Bevin wanted and that they thought (and the court in Stewart agreed) was illegal. Gov. Bevin in turn filed a lawsuit against our plaintiffs in a courtroom that he selected. That effort has been stopped by the judge who sits in that courtroom. The judge’s decision dismissing the governor’s case is straightforward and legally sound. Should the Trump administration re-approve Kentucky’s harmful Medicaid waiver project, our clients can consider their legal options without fearing the retribution from their governor.”

Kentucky Equal Justice Center and Southern Poverty Law Center joined National Health Law Program in representing Kentuckians in their lawsuit challenging HHS’s approval of Bevin’s Medicaid waiver plan.

KEJC Senior Staff Attorney Anne Marie Regan said the federal court in Kentucky succinctly explained why the Bevin administration’s lawsuit was a flawed response to a serious inquiry into his administration’s efforts to weaken Medicaid in Kentucky.

“Gov. Bevin’s administration responded to his constituents’ legal action in a shameful manner that as the Kentucky district court concluded was legally flawed,” Regan said. “Our plaintiffs’ litigation is not an attack on the Bevin administration; it is a well-founded and legally solid attempt to ensure that Medicaid in Kentucky is not damaged by illegal exemptions that would lead to nearly 100,000 Kentuckians trying to survive in jobs with low-wages, from losing access vital Medicaid services.”

For comment from Perkins or Regan regarding the legal action against the Bevin administration, please contact National Health Law Program Communications department at leaming@healthlaw.org or 202-552-5176.

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