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Indiana suspends Medicaid work requirements, citing legal challenge

Indiana suspends Medicaid work requirements, citing legal challenge

Indiana announced Thursday that it is suspending its Medicaid work requirements until a lawsuit challenging them is completed, the latest blow to a signature Trump administration health care policy. 

Indiana’s state government cited a lawsuit filed against the work requirements in federal court last month, by the same advocates who have been successful in getting Medicaid work requirements struck down in other states. 

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“The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced today that it will temporarily suspend the reporting requirements of the Gateway to Work program due to a pending legal challenge,” the state agency said in a statement. 

A federal district judge has already struck down Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas, Kentucky and New Hampshire. Those cases are now being appealed. 

The Trump administration has approved Medicaid work requirements for the first time in the history of the program in states that have chosen to apply. The Trump administration argues the move helps lift people out of poverty by making sure they are working. 

But Democrats say the move simply results in people losing health coverage when they are confronted with bureaucratic hurdles to prove they are working. 

In Arkansas, the one state where work requirements went into effect before being blocked by a judge, more than 18,000 people lost coverage. 

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, who has championed work requirements, previously worked on Indiana’s Medicaid program. 

More conservative Medicaid changes from the Trump administration could be coming soon as well, as officials are expected to release guidance for states looking to block grant the funds for their Medicaid program, a policy that Democrats warn would lead to harmful cuts.