Thousands of nursing home residents rebel against perceived institutional bias

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More than 8,000 nursing home residents have filed a federal, class-action lawsuit in Florida, claiming they are being forced to live in facilities against their wishes. Plaintiffs accuse the nursing-home lobby of pressuring state lawmakers to make it harder for individuals to receive Medicaid-covered home- and community-based care.

Receiving Medicaid-covered services at home is "substantially harder" than receiving nursing home admission or care, according to an Associated Press/Miami Herald account.

The lawsuit names the defendants as the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and Gov. Charlie Crist's (R) Office. It does not allege that the state's Medicaid program has not covered needed services but rather criticizes how these services are being made available in light of available resources.