New proof of citizenship law upheld by federal judge

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A federal judge in Chicago has ruled in favor of a new law requiring Medicaid applicants to provide proof of citizenship in order to receive benefits.

Plaintiffs filed a class action suit in June seeking to bar the Department of Health and Human Services from implementing rules pertaining to the new documentation statute. U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Guzman ruled that the plaintiffs did not present an adequate argument. Since the law took effect, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has exempted more than 8 million people, including many seniors and others, from the new law.

The groups contended that the law would cause an estimated 3 million to 5 million Medicaid beneficiaries to lose their coverage. The lawsuit asserts that the individuals most at risk of losing their Medicaid coverage include seniors in nursing homes, individuals with mental or physician disabilities, and people not born in hospitals who never had birth certificates.