Kentucky Medicaid Waiver Prompts Lawsuit from Advocates

The National Health Law Program (NHeLP), along with Kentucky Equal Justice Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center, filed a class action lawsuit in federal court challenging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recent approval of Kentucky’s Medicaid waiver application. The lawsuit alleges the waiver, which allows the state to implement work requirements and other harmful provisions, violates the Medicaid statute and seeks to enjoin its implementation. The lawsuit comes in the wake of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) action of Jan. 12 when it approved numerous section 1115 waivers in Kentucky. Because the approvals violate numerous provisions of law and will gravely harm hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians, the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) brought a lawsuit challenging them on Jan. 24. NHeLP brought the lawsuit together with the Kentucky Equal Justice Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center. NHeLP is being assisted by the law firm of Jenner & Block. Section 1115 of the Social Security Act allows HHS to waive some federal Medicaid requirements if, and only if, those waivers have an experimental purpose and promote the objectives of Medicaid (to furnish health services for enrollees) and only for so long as needed to do the experiment. In approving the KY Waivers, HHS is alleged to have exceeded its authority -- the waivers are not experiments, reduce access to health services, and violate other legal requirements. The complaint seeks to have the KY Waivers declared illegal and also to enjoin their implementation. Multiple [...]

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2/2/18 5:30 PM

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