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Penn State Dickinson Law

Administrative Law

2019

Community Engagement

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Predetermined? The Prospect Of Social Determinant-Based Section 1115 Waivers After Stewart V. Azar, Griffin Schoenbaum Jan 2019

Predetermined? The Prospect Of Social Determinant-Based Section 1115 Waivers After Stewart V. Azar, Griffin Schoenbaum

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

Section 1115 of the Social Security Act allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the “Secretary”) to waive some of Medicaid’s requirements so states can enact “demonstration projects.” A demonstration project is an experiment a state can conduct by modifying aspects of its Medicaid program. To waive Medicaid’s requirements for this purpose, the Secretary must determine that the proposed demonstration project will likely assist in promoting Medicaid’s objectives.

Using this standard, President Trump’s Secretary has approved waiver requests to enact demonstration projects that contain “community engagement” requirements. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has heard each …