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Internists Applaud District Court Judge for Upholding Medicaid Coverage in Kentucky, Arkansas

Statement attributable to:
Ana María López, MD, MPH, MACP
President, American College of Physicians

Washington, DC (March 28, 2019) — The American College of Physicians (ACP) applauds U.S. District Court Judge, James Boasberg, for blocking Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky and Arkansas. ACP firmly believes that work requirements, which would make employment or other activities a condition of Medicaid eligibility, should never be a prerequisite to receive insurance coverage.

As a physician, I know how important it is for patients to access affordable and quality health care coverage. Medicaid work requirements can make that impossible—especially for patients in vulnerable populations. It would not only take away coverage from patients who are unable to work or find work, but it would also jeopardize coverage for those who are employed but are unable to comply with onerous reporting requirements. Imposing work requirements also creates unnecessary challenges for physicians and other health professionals, as well, including adding administrative burdens and jeopardizing the patient-physician relationship.

That is why ACP, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the March of Dimes, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, signed onto an amicus brief emphasizing how Medicaid work requirements would hurt patients and increase the number of uninsured individuals. Additionally, in 2018, ACP urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to reject proposals making Medicaid coverage contingent on employment from Arizona and Kansas.

ACP commends Judge Boasberg for prioritizing patient health and formally recognizing that restricting Medicaid coverage will put patients at risk and lead to negative health care outcomes. We will continue to advocate for policies that protect our patients and support access to care for all Americans, regardless of employment status

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About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 154,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.