Justices call off arguments over Medicaid work requirements

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FILE - This Nov. 4, 2020 file photo shows the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court said Thursday it has called off upcoming arguments over a Trump administration plan to remake Medicaid by requiring recipients to work, agreeing to a request from the Biden administration.

The court had been scheduled to take up the issue on March 29. But the Biden administration already has decided preliminarily that work requirements do not fit with Medicaid's goal of providing health care to lower-income people.

It's the fifth time since the November presidential election that the change in administrations has led the court to dismiss or delay cases it had already agreed to hear.

Other cases involved Trump administration immigration policies and a fight over unreleased portions of grand jury documents from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

The high court had in December agreed to review lower-court decisions involving Arkansas and New Hampshire that found that the Trump administration’s support for work requirements went beyond what’s allowed by law. Arkansas had opposed the Biden administration’s request that the cases be dropped.

Medicaid is a $600 billion federal-state program that covers about 70 million people, from pregnant women and newborns to disabled people and nursing home residents. Under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, states gained the option of expanding the program to many low-income adults previously ineligible. More than 12 million people have gained coverage as a result.