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Judge invalidates Michigan Medicaid work requirements

LANSING (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday invalidated work requirements for hundreds of thousands of Medicaid recipients in Michigan, one of two states where rules had been in effect after court challenges elsewhere.
The short order from U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C., came weeks after a federal appeals court upheld his decision to strike down Arkansas’ requirement that low-income people work or do other things to qualify for government-provided health insurance.
The ruling was welcomed by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whose administration had sought a quick decision after unsuccessfully pushing to delay the rules that were enacted by her Republican predecessor and the GOP-controlled Legislature.
Prior to the ruling, the state had been preparing to notify more than 80,000 of roughly 675,000 enrollees in Michigan’s Medicaid expansion program that they did not comply with reporting requirements for January and would lose their coverage on May 31 if they did not report for February and March.
“We just got a great victory in court,” Whitmer said, “so we’re going to be able to make sure that we’re continuing the effort to expand access to affordable health care.”
Four Michigan residents sued the federal government in November, with assistance from advocacy groups, contending that the Trump administration lacked the authority to approve the requirements that undermine the Affordable Care Act.