Magdaleno, Johnny, and Tony Cook. 2022. Hoosiers fear losing benefits, rights: A woman sued to save her medicaid. HHC agency wants to bar such cases. Indianapolis Star, Nov 04, 2022. (accessed January 9, 2023).

Indiana and other states often try to cut or deny benefits to save money, especially when it comes to Medicaid. That’s because states share in the costs with the federal government.

Federal courts have for decades said recipients of Medicaid and other safety-net programs across the country have the right to sue if they believe states are unlawfully withholding benefits.

But now, disability rights advocates and legal experts fear the U.S. Supreme Court will unravel that right. And that change could start as early as next week.


Health & Hospital is now facing a new lawsuit over how it has handled the Supreme Court petition.

Morgan Daly, public policy director at the Indiana Statewide Independent Living Council, sued the agency and its board members in Marion County court in October. She claims they violated Indiana’s Open Door Law by going to the Supreme Court without having the board first participate in a public-facing vote on the petition.

Chadwell is thankful she had her day in court long before the Supreme Court agreed to review the Talevski suit. She’s grateful a judge stepped in and forced the state to act when it didn’t want to provide the help she was entitled to receive.

She said she lives a normal life. She’s been able to get a bachelor’s degree in social services and counseling. Her refrigerator door is covered with photos of her and her high school-aged son, who attracts the focus of her attention these days.

But Health & Hospital’s Supreme Court case has her worried about what the future looks like for people who find themselves suddenly bereft of the federal benefits they thought they were guaranteed. For some, she believes, it can be a matter of life or death.

“To take that right (to sue) away would leave people very vulnerable and the government could do whatever they wanted that way,” Chadwell said. “I think a lot of people would get hurt or die from the lack of services.”

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