The scheduled March 29 arguments in the Supreme Court on a policy introduced by Donald Trump for work requirements for people who receive healthcare under the Medicaid program for the poor may not take place. The Joe Biden administration has appealed to the court to cancel the oral argument, saying it is in the process of reversing the policy for pilot programs adopted by Arkansas and New Hampshire. The previous Trump administration had approved the projects in 2018 in a bid to put a conservative stamp on Medicaid, which was expanded under the Affordable Care Act.
- In the past four years, as many as 12 states had received federal nod to test the policy. The programs soon hit legal and administrative hurdles, and none is active currently.
- Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar has urged the court to consider dismissing the cases altogether. New Hampshire declined to take a position on the pending case, while Arkansas opposes the abeyance and intends to file a response with the court.
- Under Trump, the Department of Health and Human Service gave the go-ahead to the first pilot programs in 2018 for Arkansas and New Hampshire. Arkansas had started disenrolling beneficiaries for not meeting work requirements.
- In February 2020, a federal appeals court unanimously struck down Arkansas’ work requirement. The court termed the program as “arbitrary and capricious” which led to drastic loss of coverage.
- The Trump administration moved the Supreme Court in December 2020 to review the ruling, joining Arkansas’ suit with another brought by New Hampshire. The arguments were posted for March 29.