Controversy over work requirements for Medicaid recipients in Arkansas

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LITTLE ROCK, Ar. — A US appeals panel upheld blocking Arkansas’s work requirement for Medicaid recipients on Feb. 14.

The Trump administration has allowed states to require able-bodied adults drawing Medicaid benefits to work, volunteer or study.

Officials argue that work can make people healthier.

About 18,000 people in Arkansas lost benefits when the work requirements went into effect in 2018 because they didn’t meet the guidelines.

Last March, a district court judge placed a hold on work requirements.

Arkansas appealed that decision.

And today the DC circuit court voted to reject the state’s appeal and called the requirement unlawful.

“We will be visiting with the department of justice and determining whether or not they will seek cert in this case, however, nothing for Arkansans will be changed because of this decision,” said Leslie Rutledge, the attorney general of Arkansas.

Arkansas was one of the first states to have a work requirement in place.

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