Medicaid Proof-of-Citizenship Suit Dismissed
U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed over allegations that some Medicaid beneficiaries would lose coverage as a result of a new law under which beneficiaries and applicants must provide proof of U.S. citizenship to receive care through the program, the AP/Washington Times reports (AP/Washington Times, 9/20).
Under the law, individuals who seek care through Medicaid must provide proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, passport or other form of identification. The law seeks to ensure that undocumented immigrants, who do not qualify for Medicaid, do not receive care through the program.
According to the lawsuit, the law violates the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago on behalf of nine Medicaid beneficiaries and names HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt as defendant (California Healthline, 6/29).
In his 21-page decision, Guzman wrote that the lawsuit challenged regulations issued by HHS on the implementation of the law and that those regulations did not establish the proof-of-citizenship requirement. He wrote, "Absent a showing that their injuries can be traced to the regulations, which they have not made, plaintiffs do not have standing to pursue these claims."
However, Guzman said he likely will issue an injunction that would exempt 500,000 foster children from the proof-of-citizenship requirement (AP/Washington Times, 9/20).