The Supreme Court will no longer hear arguments on a Trump administration policy to require Medicaid recipients to work, signaling the likely end of the program under President Joe Biden.
The move Thursday comes after the Biden administration said it has no plans to keep the policy and moved to cancel oral arguments on challenges to it, Reuters reported.
An “overreach of executive power”
According to the Associated Press, former President Donald Trump originally introduced the option for states to adopt work requirements for “able-bodied” adults receiving Medicaid in 2018 as part of a broader agenda of entitlement reform. The program faced numerous legal challenges, however, and never fully got off the ground, as Politico noted.
The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear arguments on March 29 about the pilot programs in New Hampshire and Arkansas, but will now no longer do so after the Biden administration asked the court to cancel arguments.
The idea of the work requirements was to lift poor recipients out of governmental dependency, but detractors said it had the practical effect of reducing health care coverage for the poor. Critics cite a study showing that 18,000 people lost health care coverage in Arkansas, the first state to pilot the program, according to the AP.
The Biden administration indicated it planned to nix the requirements in February, saying that it is “not the time to experiment or test policies that risk a substantial loss of health coverage or benefits, especially for individuals and communities significantly impacted by COVID-19 and other health inequities,” as the AP reported.
Arkansas called Biden’s move “unfortunate” and an “overreach of executive power.”
SCOTUS throws out Trump cases
According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 18 states had filed court briefs in support of Arkansas as the state prepared to defend the program.
An appeals court ruled that the work requirements were “arbitrary and capricious” in February 2020, NBC News reported.
Biden, for his part, has sharply reversed many of Trump’s policies, with immigration perhaps being the starkest area of contrast. The new president has been accused of causing a border crisis with his encouragement of mass migration via progressive policies.
As Reuters notes, the Supreme Court has already dismissed a number of cases on Trump policies that Biden has no plans of keeping, such as the public charge rule, which requires that green card recipients not be dependent on welfare; funding for the border wall; and the “Remain in Mexico” asylum agreement.
Few surprises here, needless to say.