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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    NE: ACLU sues to cover child of illegal immigrant

    Suit: Cover child of illegal immigrant

    By Martha Stoddard
    « Metro/Region

    LINCOLN — A pregnant Lancaster County woman is challenging Nebraska's decision to end Medicaid coverage of unborn children of illegal immigrant women.

    The woman, identified only as "Sarah Roe," claims that state law requires coverage of her unborn child.

    The Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest filed the case on her behalf and on the behalf of other such women.

    The suit restates many of the arguments made in a previous case, filed on behalf of an Adams County woman identified as "Jane Doe."

    Lancaster County District Judge Karen Flowers ruled that Doe's case was moot following a change in state law. The change extended Medicaid coverage to pregnant women who were in the country lawfully.

    James Goddard, the attorney who filed both cases, said the Doe ruling did not address the main issue of whether Nebraska is required to provide prenatal coverage for unborn children, regardless of the immigration status of their mothers.

    "We're seeing a big impact in the health of mothers and babies," he said.

    Contact the writer:


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Here's the longer version that is on the Lincoln Journal Star website. Comments are allowed there. The OBL's are having a field day with this story.

    Pregnant woman sues for benefits for unborn child

    By LORI PILGER / Lincoln Journal Star | Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 11:00 pm | (45) Comments
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    A pregnant woman has sued the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, contending her unborn child is eligible for medical assistance even if she isn't eligible for it herself because of her immigration status.

    And she's asking for it to be a class action lawsuit.

    Sarah Roe, a 33-year-old mother of three who lives in Lancaster County and is about nine months pregnant, said she applied for benefits in April under Nebraska's medical assistance program and was denied in June because she is an "ineligible alien."

    In the lawsuit filed Friday in Lancaster County District Court, attorney James Goddard of the Nebraska Appleseed Center, said Roe doesn't dispute she is ineligible.

    "However, Roe does contend that her unborn child is eligible for children's medical assistance pursuant to the Nebraska Medical Assistance Act," he wrote.

    Goddard said HHS also denied her unborn child the benefits by failing to process the unborn child for eligibility.

    He asserts in the suit that the Nebraska Legislature, through statute, made unborn children eligible for children's medical assistance in the state when it made eligible all children younger than 19, as allowed under the Children's Health Insurance Program. According to CHIP, Goddard said, a child younger than 19 includes unborn children.

    He said Roe got pregnant in January and paid for prenatal care in installments, but by March she no longer could afford it.

    The lawsuit alleges that on June 28, when HHS officially repealed rules and regulations that recognized unborn child eligibility for medical assistance, it acted in excess of its statutory authority and in violation of the separation of powers.

    HHS has not yet responded to the lawsuit.

    This isn't the first time the state has been sued over prenatal care.

    In 2010, state government officials were sued for cutting off prenatal care to more than 1,500 low-income pregnant women when they ended a program this year that provided Medicaid coverage for unborn children.

    The class-action suit filed by the Nebraska Appleseed Center on behalf of a woman identified as Jane Doe, an immigrant lawfully living in Nebraska, alleged the state acted outside its authority when ending the two-decade-old program.

    But a Lancaster County District judge denied a request for a temporary restraining order to restore eligibility for prenatal care and later dismissed the case, calling the matter moot because the woman later became eligible when state lawmakers passed a law to allow for treatment of pregnant women lawfully living in the United States and otherwise eligible for Medicaid.

    That case is on appeal.

    Reach Lori Pilger at 402-473-7237 or or follow her on Twitter at LJSpilger.

    Read more: ... z1WiK5JdNX

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