The announcement on Thursday follows a request by the Biden administration’s Department of Justice to cancel the hearings because HHS is reviewing the approval of work requirements in several states.
CMS has indicated it may withdraw approvals in the nine states that received work requirement waivers from the Trump administration, including Arkansas and New Hampshire, which would make the legal challenges moot.
Work requirements were widely opposed by the healthcare industry, including the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association, due to the potential impact on hospitals and other providers.
Medicaid is a large source of funding for hospitals and could weaken their finances if implemented and people lose coverage, according to a study from the Commonwealth Fund.
Several trial and federal appellate courts ruled against the work requirements, siding with plaintiffs who argued they run counter to Medicaid’s objectives of providing health insurance to low-income adults, pregnant women, people with disabilities and others.
The Trump administration eventually appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case.
Because of legal action, work requirements only took effect in Arkansas, resulting in 18,000 people losing Medicaid coverage in 2018, largely because of a failure to meet the reporting requirements.
Arkansas Medicaid beneficiaries who didn’t qualify for an exemption to the policy had to report to the state every month on how they were trying to comply with the objectives.
Opponents of work requirements note that most beneficiaries already work and reporting requirements are too onerous and confusing. They also argued work requirements are intended to kick people off of Medicaid, especially in states that accepted the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which was fiercely opposed by the Trump administration.
The Trump administration had argued work requirements teach Medicaid beneficiaries the value of work.