On February 14, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the lower court ruling in Charles Gresham v. Alex Azar, II that struck down the Arkansas Medicaid work requirement provisions. The three-judge panel ruled unanimously that the lower-court holding finding the federal approval of work requirements was “arbitrary and capricious” was correct. The D.C. Circuit found that the Trump administration disregarded the statutory intent of Medicaid, to provide health coverage, and did not adequately account for the coverage losses that would occur from the implementation of the work requirements. Over 18,000 Arkansas Medicaid enrollees lost coverage as a result of the Arkansas Works requirements in just 5 months.
This ruling only apples to Arkansas, which was the only state where work requirements went into effect before being blocked by the courts. Kentucky was previously a party to the suit, but was removed after the election of Democratic Governor Andy Beshear who ended the work requirement initiative in the state.