Aging advocates sue Florida over Medicaid waitlists

Two advocacy groups are suing Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, contending changes in the state’s Medicaid waitlists discriminate against the elderly and the poor.

Justice in Aging and Southern Legal Counsel contend in a recently-filed class-action lawsuit that consolidating waitlists for certain Medicaid services effectively prevent low-income older adults and individuals with disabilities from obtaining care.

“Defendants have the ability, under federal Medicaid law, to provide these services,” the complaint reads. “Instead, they ration services to a restricted number of people, and, as a result, fail to address the care needs of thousands of waitlisted older adults and adults with disabilities.”

AHCA Press Secretary Shelisha Coleman told Florida Politics the agency would not comment on pending litigation.

Florida’s consolidation of Medicaid Waiver lists became central platform planks for two Democratic state Senate candidates this year, Faith Olivia Babis and Kathy Lewis, though neither candidate won their elections in November. Babis lost to now-state Sen. Joe Gruters and Lewis to incumbent state Sen. Tom Lee.

Still, they raised the issue that Florida in the past had several lists for different patients, but in its most recent budget winnowed that down to two: Florida Long-Term Managed Care and Florida Non-Emergency Transportation Services (NEMT).

– Florida Politics

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