Federal court reverses ruling, allows TennCare enrollment cuts

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A U.S. Court of Appeals ruled late last week that Tennessee's plans for cutting enrollment in TennCare are not a violation of either Medicaid laws or regulations and do not infringe on constitutional due process requirements.

This, the latest in a series of court rulings, overturns an April 28 decision by a lower U.S. District Court which issued a preliminary injunction blocking the TennCare restructuring plan. It found that state residents who would be affected by the planned cuts were not provided with sufficient notice or appeals procedures.

The federal appeals court ruling removes a legal hurdle to implementing a reform plan needed to "restore financial stability to TennCare," according to Gov. Phil Bredesen (D). Tennessee cost-savings reform plan will remove as many as 323,000 adults from TennCare, a program that currently covers about 1.3 million of the state's residents.