Child Advocacy Organizations Celebrate Victory for Medicaid Beneficiaries
Youth Law Center and its partners are celebrating a major victory for Medicaid beneficiaries in the Supreme Court this month which preserves the rights of low-income individuals, children, and other vulnerable populations to bring federal court challenges for violations of their rights. In a 7-2 decision in Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana v. Talevski, the Court found in favor of Gorgi Talevski’s family which brought suit alleging the use of chemical restraint and involuntary transfers in violation of Medicaid laws. At issue in the case was the long-standing right of individuals to seek federal court relief when state officials violate rights established in major federal programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, and the Child Welfare Act. Youth Law Center, National Center for Youth Law, National Center for Law and Economic Justice, along with 14 other organizations represented by Upper Seven Law filed an amicus brief in the case describing the critical importance of court access to children who rely on these federally funded programs for a variety of essential life services such as preventing hunger and malnutrition, providing medical care, and ensuring safety and security in state foster care systems. Children and youth are uniquely vulnerable when they rely on states to provide necessary services and basic care and it is imperative their rights remain enforceable. The Court’s decision to uphold the legal framework giving children access to the courts preserves a powerful tool for YLC and other advocacy organizations to use on behalf of children and families.