RUTLEDGE: The attorney general has long been one of Trump's most obsequious jesters. 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge proudly announces that she’s joined with the Justice Department to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn lower court rulings that invalidated the work rule Arkansas (and other states) have tried to impose to qualify for expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The work rule was disastrously implemented in Arkansas and did have the effect of reducing the number of people covered. The federal law on Medicaid said it is meant to provide medical coverage for the poor and disabled period and that states couldn’t tack on requirements that damage the aim of the legislation.


Rutledge repeats the usual Hutchinson administration talking point (disproved by numerous serious reviews) that work rules encourage people to be more independent.

The irony of this appeal is that, of course, Rutledge is involved in another case out of Texas seeking to get the U.S. Supreme Court to kill the Affordable Care Act root and branch. That will REALLY encourage people to be more independent. Or die.


Update from opponent to Rutledge:

Today, the Department of Justice and the state of Arkansas petitioned the Supreme Court to reinstate burdensome Medicaid work requirements that were previously ruled by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to be “arbitrary and capricious” while failing to advance the purposes of Medicaid. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“This move by the Trump administration is outrageous even for an administration that has completely botched the response to the coronavirus and waged a relentless war on Medicaid. These burdensome paperwork requirements are meant to boot people off the rolls, which is particularly heartless during the dual public health and economic crises facing Americans today. Rather than find ways to rip health care away from Americans during a pandemic, the Trump administration should be making health care more affordable and leading the effort to fight the virus. But given the war President Trump and his allies have waged on American health care, we won’t hold our breath waiting for them to do either one.”