Judge dismisses Bevin lawsuit against Kentucky Medicaid activists

Judge dismisses Bevin lawsuit against Kentucky Medicaid activists

A federal judge in Kentucky on Monday dismissed a counter-lawsuit brought by Gov. Matt Bevin (R) against the group of citizens who sued to stop his plan to implement controversial Medicaid work requirements.

The judge ruled that Bevin's lawsuit “does not explain how the Commonwealth would be injured” by the challenge to his proposed Medicaid restrictions.

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The Bevin administration’s lawsuit was filed in response to a lawsuit by a group of activists in Kentucky who were seeking to block the work requirements from being implemented. The original lawsuit claimed that work requirements were unconstitutional.

Bevin lost the lawsuit in June, when U.S. District Judge James Boasberg blocked implementation of the work requirements.

Boasberg ruled that the administration never adequately considered whether the work requirements and other restrictions would violate the program's central purpose of providing medical assistance to vulnerable citizens.

Bevin argued that the state would be forced to end its Medicaid expansion if the activists’ lawsuit was successful and the waiver invalidated.

In dismissing Bevin’s countersuit, U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove was skeptical of that claim and noted that if Bevin decided to roll back the state’s Medicaid expansion, it could not be blamed on the original lawsuit.

Kentucky offered “no authority in support of its position that any future economic harm it might suffer would be traceable to Defendants,” Van Tatenhove wrote.

Bevin filed his administration’s lawsuit in Kentucky, while the original lawsuit challenging the waiver was filed in Washington, D.C.

The Kentucky judge was appointed by former President George W. Bush; the D.C. judge was appointed by former President Obama.