A three-judge federal appeals court panel on Feb. 14 sided with a lower court and unanimously ruled that Arkansas’ Medicaid work requirements are unlawful because they don’t align with the chief objective of the Medicaid program — providing access to medical care to those who can’t afford it. The ruling is likely to have implications for states, Medicaid managed care companies and other stakeholders beyond Arkansas’ borders, policy and legal experts tell AIS Health. “This certainly puts a damper on their plans,” says Joan Alker, a research professor and executive director of the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, referring to other states’ hopes to set up similar Medicaid waiver demonstrations. “This is a signature initiative of [CMS] Administrator [Seema] Verma, and the court decision could not have been more clear that this was an unacceptable overreach by the administration and that they had moved into territory where only Congress could go
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