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Washington D.C. is the latest city to join in the fight against Medicaid reforms that would hurt nursing home patients

Joining Chicago’s anti-poverty groups and citizens, Bread for the City, a Washington D.C. charitable organization, along with 11 D.C. citizens, has filed a lawsuit against the District of Columbia to stop the city’s most vulnerable Medicaid recipients from receiving benefits.

The new Medicaid law, effective tomorrow, July 1, 2006, will require proof of citizenship from those eligible for Medicaid benefits in the form of a birth certificate or passport. This requirement puts the city’s most helpless, nursing home residents and the physically and mentally disabled, at risk for losing their benefits if they can’t find the necessary documentation.

While the law is part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and intended to preclude non-U.S. citizens from falsely identifying themselves as such on Medicaid applications, the effects of the law’s enactment are far reaching. Those unable to gather the necessary documentation in time and those who have misplaced these identification items will also be cut off from Medicaid support by the new law.

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