Washington, D.C. – A federal judge has vacated the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ approval of work requirements, this time in Michigan. The Department approved the requirements as part of a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver project. Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found similar work requirements in Arkansas were unlawful, a factor that Judge Boasberg cited in his brief order today.
National Health Law Program Legal Director Jane Perkins said, “Congress requires Section 1115 waivers to further Medicaid’s stated purpose of furnishing medical assistance. The Secretary of Health and Human Services cannot ignore or re-write that congressional directive. The work requirements would have caused tens of thousands of people to lose coverage. We are pleased with the order.”
Kelly Bidelman, Executive Director of the Michigan Center for Civil Justice, echoed this, “We are relieved for the thousands of Michigan residents who were facing these onerous and harmful work requirements.”
“On behalf of the tens of thousands of individuals in Michigan who were facing the potential loss of their health care coverage, we are grateful,” said Lisa Ruby of Michigan Poverty Law Program.
The National Health Law Program, the Michigan Center for Civil Justice, and the Michigan Poverty Law Program represent the plaintiffs in the legal challenge. The case remains with Judge Boasberg to determine the validity of the remaining challenges in the case.