Federal court ruling in Kentucky may impact Ohio Medicaid waiver plan
Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio
A federal judge's ruling last week on a Medicaid waiver in Kentucky will likely delay a decision on a similar work requirement proposed by Ohio (Source: Kentucky ruling on Medicaid work requirement could stall Ohio's waiver,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 3, 2018).
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled in favor of those challenging Kentucky's waiver in Stewart v. Azar, saying that Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar's approval of Kentucky HEALTH was "arbitrary and capricious."
"The secretary never adequately considered whether Kentucky HEALTH would in fact help the state furnish medical assistance to its citizens, a central objective of Medicaid," Boasberg wrote.
That decision puts a hold on Kentucky's planned launch of the new system, but also likely delays the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) approval of other waivers, including one submitted by Ohio on April 30.
"My guess is the administration might pause in approving other waivers, including Ohio's, until the Kentucky decision gets figured out," said Rea Hederman, executive director of the Economic Research Center and vice president of policy at The Buckeye Institute, a right-leaning think tank. "I will be a little surprised if they continue to approve the waivers as they have been."