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December 5, 2008

Judge: Calif. Must Provide Managed Care to Positive People

A Los Angeles County superior court judge has tasked the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) with helping the state of California develop a plan that complies with a six-year-old law intended to provide medical coverage to impoverished people living with HIV, The Associated Press reports.

According to the article, the foundation filed the lawsuit last year claiming the state’s Department of Health Care Services failed to employ a program expanding the agency’s Medi-Cal coverage to eligible people living with HIV. Before the 2002 law passed, HIV-positive Californians were disqualified from Medi-Cal coverage until they had progressed to full-blown AIDS.

“The ruling is a scathing indictment of the state for not doing anything to comply with this law that went into effect five years ago,” said foundation spokesman Ged Kenslea. “DHCS can’t pick and choose which laws they follow.”

In a November 25 decision, Chalfant wrote that the state had “arbitrarily failed to meet its statutory duties” in not conducting outreach to recruit low-income HIV-positive people into managed care.

AHF is scheduled to submit its plan by December 17.

Search: California, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Department of Health Care Services, Medi-Cal, Los Angeles

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