Disabled Medicaid Clients Sue Idaho Over Budget Cuts

BOISE, Idaho - Twelve severely disabled Idaho residents are suing the state after the Department of Health and Welfare refused to disclose why it cut their Medicaid benefits by as much as 40 percent.

The plaintiffs are represented by Idaho Legal Aid attorney Ritchie Eppink, who describes his clients as Idaho's most vulnerable residents. All of them need supervision - some require 24-hour care - and all have multiple medical or mental health problems or developmental disabilities. They also all recently had their Medicaid benefits cut under a formula the state says it can't reveal, according to the lawsuit.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says the formula is a trade secret.

On Friday U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ordered the state to increase the plaintiffs' budgets pending a hearing.

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