Lawsuit says Florida Medicaid care wanting

Dec. 6, 2009 at 7:50 PM
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MIAMI, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A class-action lawsuit filed in Florida says medical care for impoverished and disabled children covered under Medicaid is so poor it violates federal law.

The children are forced to endure "unreasonably long" waits for care, make long trips to find participating doctors and often pay out of pocket when unable to obtain covered services, the Miami Herald reported Sunday.

Under federal law, states accepting Medicaid funds must provide eligible children prompt services comparable to what children with private insurance can get in the same areas, the newspaper said.

"Unfortunately, in Florida, the Medicaid program has not come close to meeting these federal requirements,'" said attorney Stuart Singer, who is representing the children.

The lawsuit, which goes to trial Monday, was filed on behalf of children varying in age from infancy to late adolescence. In Florida, 1.4 million children are enrolled in Medicaid, the Herald said.

The Agency for Health Care Administration, which regulates Medicaid in Florida, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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