Feds tell states to restore improperly cut Medicaid benefits

In a move that could help hundreds of thousands of poor people, the Clinton administration ordered states on April 7 to restore Medicaid benefits to families who were improperly deprived of their health insurance when they left the welfare roles.

The action was announced by Donna E. Shalala, secretary of health and human services, who said many low-income people lost Medicaid coverage as an unintended consequence of the 1996 welfare law. In approving that law, Congress wanted to restrict eligibility while preserving access to Medicaid.

In an April 7th letter to state Medicaid directors, the Clinton administration said, "All states must take steps to identify individuals who have been terminated improperly from Medicaid and reinstate them," according to an article in The New York Times.