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Moody signs onto brief in Medicaid work dispute

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has joined 16 other attorneys general in backing Arkansas and New Hampshire in a U.S. Supreme Court case about work requirements in the Medicaid program.

The friend-of-the-court brief, filed Jan. 26, urges the Supreme Court to overturn decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that rejected work requirements in Arkansas and New Hampshire.

In part, the attorneys general contend in the brief that the decisions could have broader ramifications for states that seek to make changes in their Medicaid programs through what are known as 1115 waivers. Florida, for example, uses such a waiver in its Medicaid managed-care care system.

“In sum, if the decision below stands, millions of individuals are at risk of disruption or even loss of their Medicaid coverage due to judicial invalidation of entire waiver programs - a figure that far exceeds the number of individuals who might suffer coverage disruption or loss for failing to comply with a waiver-authorized requirement,” the brief said.

“States and millions of Medicaid beneficiaries have relied on the longstanding interpretation of Section 1115 - affirmed by multiple courts - that reads that statute to permit the secretary (of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) to issue waivers authorizing states to adopt rules that result in some coverage loss in some circumstances for some individuals.”

The brief was submitted by the Indiana attorney general’s office. In addition to Moody, attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and West Virginia signed on to the brief.