Yet another Trump administration mandate has been blocked in the federal court system.
A three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit appeals ruled unanimously on Friday that work requirements imposed by the Trump administration in Arkansas to receive Medicaid are both “arbitrary and capricious.”
Trump loses again
The program that was put in place in Arkansas was called “Arkansas Works.” It mandated that those in the program were required to work a minimum of hours or be going to school.
Although the program was not in place very long, roughly 18,000 people lost their coverage due to the new work restrictions.
The new program was first defeated by an Obama-appointed judge, James Boasberg in March 2019. The appeals panel, however, was bipartisan in ideology and the vote was unanimous to uphold Boasberg’s ruling.
In addition to the Arkansas program, similar programs in Kentucky and New Hampshire were also struck down in 2019.
In the most recent ruling, Reagan-appointed Judge David Sentelle stated, “Failure to consider whether the project will result in coverage loss is arbitrary and capricious.”
Back to the drawing board
This is a major blow for an administration that continues to try to get able-bodied Americans off these entitlement programs. This ruling could also set a precedent undermining other welfare work restrictions the administration has put in place throughout the country.
If the courts are shooting down work requirements for medical coverage, it stands to reason the courts could also shoot down work requirements for welfare programs and food stamps if challenged.
This is a dream scenario for the likes of Democratic-socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who wants everyone to get something for nothing — and to gradually become reliant on government handouts.
Make no mistake about it, this will be used by Sanders on the campaign trail to back his socialist agenda and could present a significant challenge for Trump.
This is especially worrisome considering that Sanders has overtaken erstwhile frontrunner Joe Biden in national polls and now appears to be the clear favorite to win the nomination, at least for the time being.