• The Trump administration was recently hit with two court rulings that set back some of its healthcare reform initiatives.
  • In the first case, a District of Columbia judge rejected, for a second time, Kentucky’s attempt to require Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer as a condition of coverage. The same judge also blocked a work-requirement rule in Arkansas.
  • The judge’s rationale in both cases was similar: the approval by Health and Human Services (“HHS”) was arbitrary and capricious because HHS Secretary Alex Azar failed to “consider adequately” the impact of the states' plans on their ability to furnish medical assistance to their citizens.
  • In another D.C. court ruling, a judge struck down the administration’s rule on association health plans (“AHPs”). The rule had allowed small businesses to band together in order to set up health insurance plans. The judge found the rule constituted “an end-run around the Affordable Care Act” (“ACA”). According to reports, the administration had previously confirmed that the purpose of the rule was to expand access to AHPs in order to avoid the most stringent ACA requirements.