Wednesday, March 26, 2014

U.S. Judge Reverses Medicaid Cuts to Idaho Adults With Developmental Disabilities

Posted By on Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 12:51 PM

A federal court has granted an injunction, restoring more than $16 million in Medicaid assistance cuts that had been implemented in 2011.

In an opinion written by U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill, three specific cases were cited to illustrate the harm caused if the cuts were not halted: a 46-year-old woman with an assessed function age of less than 2 years old who would lose her benefits to cover developmental therapy; a 26-year-old man who requires support and supervision for simple tasks such as feeding himself; and a 34-year-old man with a functional age of less than 4-years-old who was born with severe developmental disability but requires care to help him interact with other people.

Winmill also ruled that an ACLU of Idaho class action lawsuit could proceed against the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, specifically targeting cuts to participants and applicants of the Adult Developmental Disability Service program.

“We hope that this decision is a wake-up call for the Department of Health and Welfare,” said ACLU of Idaho Legal Director Ritchie Eppink. “Our investigations show that the very same constitutional due process problems the court found in this program are found in virtually every other Idaho Department of Health and Welfare program. Those will be the next lawsuits,”

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