Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Appeals Court Allows Patients to Sue States. (What's Happening)

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Appeals Court Allows Patients to Sue States. (What's Happening)

Article excerpt

In an important victory for children with disabilities and other Medicaid patients, two federal appeals courts have ruled that people may sue state officials not providing benefits promised under the federal Medicaid law.

Previously, states have reduced or eliminated services mandated by Congress while claiming exemption from legal action under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. However, in decisions made this past May, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, VA, and the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, OH, rejected these arguments. This opened doors for some of the nation's 40 million Medicaid recipients who may now sue in order to enforce provisions of federal laws not implemented by individual states. The two appeals cover the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

State officials claimed support from recent Supreme Court decisions that sided with states fighting against congressional mandates. …

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