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Low-income group challenges Medicaid citizenship documentation legislation

[JURIST] A group of nine low-income citizens filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois [official website] Wednesday seeking to enjoin legislation requiring proof of citizenship for Medicaid beneficiaries [legislation backgrounder, PDF] from taking effect on July 1. Families USA [advocacy website] sued US Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt [official profile] arguing that the citizenship proof requirement in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 [text, PDF] puts an undue burden on Medicaid beneficiaries [press release]. The rule requires that Medicaid beneficiaries prove their citizenship through US passports, birth certificates or other government documents. If beneficiaries do not have any validating documents, beneficiaries can submit affidavits signed by two non-relatives vouching for the beneficiary's citizenship.

Under the Act, states that fail to adhere to the citizenship proof requirement will sacrifice federal matching funds for Medicaid. Some 35,000 Medicaid beneficiaries stand to be affected by the citizenship proof requirement. AP has more. From Washington DC, The Hill has additional coverage.

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