Medicaid law takes effect, despite opposition

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A new Medicaid law took effect last weekend despite Congressional and legal attempts to block it.

Senators last Thursday objected to a unanimous request to delay implementation of the law. As of Saturday, anyone applying for Medicaid will be required to show a passport, birth certificate or other accepted document verifying citizenship. Nursing home providers have noted that the law could burden mentally impaired residents who may not be able to provide the necessary documentation.

Also last week, two lawsuits were filed challenging the Constitutionality of the new law. A last-minute suit was filed in federal court in the District of Columbia. Earlier in the week several advocacy groups filed a lawsuit in federal court in Chicago. President Bush signed the new law as part of the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act.