The Arkansas Medicaid work rule — an unvarnished success in pushing thousands off Medicaid coverage — will be the subject of a court hearing Thursday in Washington, but the Trump administration got roughed up on its plans to expand the experiment in a congressional hearing today.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar didn’t have much comeback for Rep. Joe Kennedy‘s questions shown here.


Azar is the lead defendant in the lawsuit that goes to court Thursday. The National Health Law Center, Legal Aid of Arkansas and Southern Poverty Law Center are representing Arkansas people harmed by the work rule. The suit challenges a requirement that Medicaid is conditioned on work as well as a computer reporting requirement that has since been altered somewhat because it proved so unworkable. Some 18,000 people lost coverage in the first five months of the program.

From a release:


Legal Aid of Arkansas Attorney Kevin De Liban said, “The approved amendment undermines – instead of bolsters – access to Medicaid services. Medicaid helps people stay healthy enough to work. So, it doesn’t make any sense to make people jump through needless and costly hoops when they are often already working or trying to take care of family members.”