Blocked: A federal judge blocked the work requirement for Medicaid recipients on Friday, says The New York Times, CNN, Forbes and The Washington Post. Kentucky was the first state to make an attempt at the work requirement, making this a closely monitored case for the national stage, as Insider has reported.

The lawsuit against Kentucky was brought by the National Health Law Program, Kentucky Equal Justice Center and Southern Poverty Law Center. They argued Trump administration officials acted illegally and in conflict with Medicaid law when granting Kentucky approval to proceed.

U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg agreed, calling the Trump administration decision “arbitrary and capricious.” He said Health Secretary Alex Azar neglected to consider if the plan would lead to loss of coverage.

The Secretary never once mentions the estimated 95,000 people who would lose coverage, which gives the Court little reason to think that he seriously grappled with the bottom-line impact on healthcare. He glossed over ‘the impact of the state’s project’ on the individuals whom Medicaid ‘was enacted to protect.’

Well that’s just crazy in this day and age. Health legislation that actually considers the health of the people it’s intended to serve?

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin threatened to end the Medicaid expansion in Kentucky if anyone attempted to stop the work requirement through litigation. Instead, Adam Meier, secretary for the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said Kentucky would work with the Trump administration to “quickly resolve the single issue raised by the court so that we can move forward.”

Consumer advocates and advocates for the poor applauded the ruling. Said Jane Perkins, legal director for the National Health Law Program:

The purpose of the Medicaid Act is to furnish medical assistance, and this approval could not stand because it was doing just the opposite — restricting coverage.

Courtesy of UofL Athletics

Top of the Pops: Just because University of Louisville fighting football Cardinal quarterback Lamar Jackson has gone pro doesn’t mean his collegiate accolades are through. The Atlantic Coast Conference named him athlete of the year for the 2017-2018 season, says The Washington Post and NBC Sports.

Jackson took home the 65th Anthony J. McKevlin Award for the best male athlete in the conference. Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale won the Mary Garber Award as the ACC’s top female athlete.

That’s all well and good. But in other more pressing Jackson news this week — the Madden 19 rookie ratings are out and Jackson is the second-best rookie quarterback in the game, just behind Baker Mayfield, says CBS Sports and Forbes. Jackson is rated 79 overall, but the real question is his speed rating. That’s a 91, which makes him the fastest quarterback in the game. Which he is.

If you’re not a Maddenite, this can all be a pretty big deal. Just watch the rookies debate their ratings with the folks at EA:

The Outer Limits: The secret to curing diseases big and small across the earth may be among the stars, says Express.

Scientists and astronauts are working together to grow plants at zero gravity, bringing about the release of different chemicals and unlocking their “full potential.”

Kris Kimel’s Space Tango in Lexington is working with Professor Joe Chappell of Kentucky University.

Said Professor Chappell:

All my career, I’ve been interested in how society in general uses plants. Not only for food, but for well-being. What are those chemicals that are in plants that provide their therapeutic value?

The team is already working with plants known for their anti-cancer and anti-anxiety properties. The hope is to cultivate them without the stress of gravity and discover what changes the process brings.

Said Mr. Kimel:

We fundamentally believe in future there will be things manufactured in space — whether it be materials, medical devices, biological products etc. — that will ultimately save lives on Earth.

This is my next column, right here. “Kyle Ware’s Conversations with People Doing Amazing Things who are not Caught up in the Crazy.” I’ll work on that title before I pitch it, but I think we’re onto something here.

WWE

Matt Cappotelli, 1979-2018: Matt Cappotelli, professional wrestler and winner of Season 3 of WWE’s “Tough Enough” reality series, has died of brain cancer, says CNN, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. He was 38.

His wife, Lindsay, wrote on Instagram:

Today my love — my strong, sweet, beautiful love — took his last breath at 3:30 a.m. and went Home to be with Jesus … exactly one year after his brain surgery. You think you can be prepared for this when you know it’s coming, but you just can’t. The only person whose comfort I want right now is the one who can’t give it to me.

 

Mr. Cappotelli won the “Tough Enough” competition in 2003

His WWE career was cut short following his first brain cancer diagnosis in 2006. His cancer went into remission and he’d continue work with Louisville’s Ohio Valley Wrestling until it returned in a much more aggressive form in 2017.

I’m always ready to beat it. There’s two mentalities: Either you roll over and let it do what it’s going to do, or you stand up and fight it. That was never a question for me; I’m going to fight it.

Godspeed, Mr. Cappotelli.

The Lawrence Summer Solstice: The Jennifer Lawrence Solstice is upon us once again, my friends.

For the uninitiated, the Lawrence Solstice marks the rare occurrence when Jennifer Lawrence is farthest from the Earth, with little to no media on a given week. It usually hits in six-month intervals, but this one came a little later than normal. The last one on record dates back to October of 2017.

Like Soltices past, we’re not devoid of Lawrence media; just nothing really to cover here. So rather than leave the space empty, I thought I might turn to some other Kentucky celebrities to bide the time.

George Clooney’s always good for a headline. This week, not so much.

Johnny Depp had a big Rolling Stone article last week entitled: “The Trouble with Johnny Depp: Multimillion-dollar lawsuits, a haze of booze and hash, a marriage gone very wrong and a lifestyle he can’t afford – inside the trials of Johnny Depp.” So yikes squared on that.

Tom Cruise, he was a Kentuckian for three minutes. He has “Mission Impossible: Fallout” coming out on July 27. That film can lay claim to the most expensive mustache in the modern era as Henry Cavill’s role in the film meant he couldn’t shave for the “Justice League” reshoots, forcing Warner Bros. to remove it frame by hirsute frame. “Mustache-gate” is still a story even this week as SYFY reports “Fallout” director Christopher McQuarrie said they did all they could to let Superman shave, it just didn’t work out.

Staying with Tom Cruise, he’s currently filming “Top Gun 2” some 32 years after the original. I’ve not seen the script, but I bet he rides on the outside of the plane at some point. I mean, he kind of has to:

See you next week.

Kyle Ware is a Louisville-based actor, artist, educator and writer. His column, In Other News, appears at Insider Louisville every Friday.


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