A federal court has ruled that Texas legislators "overstepped federal
law" by stripping Medicaid benefits from working individuals who use illegal
drugs, abuse alcohol, or fail to prevent their children from being truant.
Two women, an El Paso hospital district, and the Texas Welfare Reform Organization
filed a lawsuit, and in December a Texas county judge issued a restraining
order. The new ruling extends that order through the end of full proceedings.
Texas legislators passed the rules in an effort to redefine who qualified
as a "working" adult. US District Judge Sam Sparks, who made the ruling, said
"Congress did not authorize states in pursuit of broader social goals, no
matter how desirable, to cut off Medicaid benefits to a welfare recipient
who is, in fact, working."
Vastag B. Texas Overstep. JAMA. 2004;291(18):2183. doi:10.1001/jama.291.18.2183-c