|DALE ROGER SINGLETON; CLAUDE RANDALL
SINGLETON; BRUCE WAYNE SINGLETON,
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, et al.,
MARCHETTA CARMICLE, individual capacity,
| No. 16-5596|
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Kentucky at Frankfort.
No. 3:15-cv-00015—Gregory F. Van Tatenhove, District Judge.
Decided and Filed: December 6, 2016
Before: MOORE, SUTTON, and WHITE, Circuit Judges.
SUTTON, Circuit Judge. This dispute concerns a conflict between a provision of the
Medicaid statute and a corresponding Kentucky state regulation. In 2006, in an effort to tighten
loopholes in the Medicaid Act that had allowed individuals to transfer assets below fair market
value in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage, Congress amended the language of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1396p(c)(1)(F)(i). A corresponding Kentucky regulation, promulgated just four months later,
mistakenly included the pre-amendment language of the provision.
Marchetta Carmicle, the Branch Manager for Eligibility Policy for the Kentucky
Department of Medicaid Services, realized that Kentucky law could not contradict the federal
Medicaid statute and thus enforced the corrected federal statute, not the uncorrected state
regulation. Arguing that Kentucky was authorized by Congress to adopt a less restrictive
alternative, the Singletons sued Carmicle and the state agency, claiming a right to relief under the
state regulation. Because the federal Medicaid law preempts the contrary state regulation, we
reverse the district court’s denial of Carmicle’s motion to dismiss the claims against her under
Civil Rule 12(b)(6).