Federal judge invalidates Michigan law requiring Medicaid recipients to find work

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A federal judge on Wednesday invalidated Michigan's Medicaid work requirements, weeks after a U.S. appeals court affirmed his decision to strike down similar rules elsewhere. 

The short order came from U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington. He had earlier invalidated Arkansas' requirement that low-income people work for government-provided health insurance, dealing a blow to the Trump administration's efforts to remake Medicaid.

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Four Michigan residents sued the federal government in November, with assistance from advocacy groups.

Barring a court decision, the state on March 10 was preparing to notify more than 80,000 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. The state had 674,000 expansion participants as of November.

The bill was passed in 2018 and signed into law by then-Governor Rick Snyder. It would have required able-bodied Medicaid recipients to find a job or they would lose health insurance.

Exemptions include pregnant women, people receiving unemployment or disability benefits, caretakers for children under 6 and full-time students.