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CAMPAIGN 2000

Texas Loses Bid to Delay Plan on Medicaid Fixes

October 11, 2000|From Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge denied Tuesday a request by Texas to delay submitting a court-ordered corrective action plan for its children's Medicaid program.

In an Aug. 14 order, U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice said Texas is not adequately providing dental care, regular checkups, transportation to doctors' offices or information about available services to children on Medicaid, despite a 1996 promise by the state to make major improvements.

Justice ordered the state to submit a plan detailing how it would improve the program, which has been scrutinized heavily since the order and as Republican Gov. George W. Bush runs for president.

The state attorney general's office filed a request Sept. 22 to delay submitting the plan, saying the Texas Legislature and state officials should have flexibility to fix the program without court involvement.

But in denying the request, Justice said that the state is being asked to do what it promised to do in the 1996 consent decree and that "any delay in compliance with the Aug. 14 order will result in further deterioration of the health and welfare of the program-qualifying children."

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