Leading Health Law Scholars Urge Court to Reject KY Medicaid Waiver Project

Executive Summary

A group of the nation’s leading health law scholars is urging the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to reject federal approval of Kentucky’s Medicaid waiver program in Stewart v. Azar. The health law scholars state in their friend-of-the court brief, that HHS’s approval of Kentucky’s Medicaid waiver project was outside the parameters of the Medicaid program, because “the waiver will reduce coverage, and with it, ongoing care. Even the state’s own numbers show that rather than improving Medicaid, its actions will cull the rolls of both people who qualify for Medicaid as part of the ACA expansion as well as those eligible under traditional program rules.” The scholars brief continues that Congress did not intend for Sec. 1115 waivers to be used to limit access to Medicaid. This so-called “demonstration” waiver, “destroys, not improves, Kentucky’s substantial health care achievements and defeats, rather than promotes, Medicaid’s purpose as a safety net insurer,” the scholars’ brief states.

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