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State Cut Medicaid for Hundreds of Patients Needing 24-Hour Care, Says Judge

A federal judge in Manhattan said she found sufficient evidence that Medicaid had been reduced or terminated in hundreds of city and state cases.

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled on Tuesday that the plaintiffs of a class-action lawsuit had a case against New York City and New York State for violating federal law in cutting back on Medicaid for hundreds of residents last year, says the New York Times.

Judge Shira Scheindlin issued a preliminary injunction ordering the city to stop reducing or terminating Medicaid coverage for patients in need of round-the-clock care, with exceptions to be made if a doctor found a change in a patient’s condition, or if the city declared a mistake. 

Scheindlin wrote that there was clear evidence that Medicaid care had been reduced or ended entirely in many cases without due notice to patients, says the Times.

“While we respectfully disagree with some of the court’s finding, we will, of course, comply with the court’s order,” read a statement by the city’s Human Resources Administration, which administers the Medicaid personal-care program. 

According to the Times, the State Health Department said it was reviewing the decision.

In April, many seniors were dismayed to hear of  “The Ryan Plan,” introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman (and now Republican vice presidential candidate) Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, which would cut Medicare and Medicaid entirely for those under 55, and replace it with a $15,000 yearly voucher. Any medical costs over that amount were to be paid by the individual.

Total Medicare costs in NY State average $22,845 per person, according to the U.S department of Health and Human Services.

According to the Times, Judge Scheindlin suggested that the cutting of Medicaid services in New York had also been a way to cut costs, though she said that “administrators — even when faced with major budget crises — may not deprive citizens of the care to which they are legally entitled.”

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