Arguments set in Medicaid appeal

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

In a case that involves whether Medicaid applicants who were rejected can include information that was not in their initial applications when they appeal, the Indiana Supreme Court has set oral arguments for March 3 at 9 a.m.

In its July 21 decision in Anne Waltermann Murphy, et al. v. William Curtis, et al., No. 49A04-0909-CV-503, the majority of an Indiana Court of Appeals panel reversed the decision of a Marion Superior judge and found in favor of Anne Waltermann Murphy in her official capacity as secretary of Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and Patricia Casanova in her official capacity as director of the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

One of the Court of Appeals judges dissented, writing that she disagreed with the majority’s conclusion that an administrative law judge’s “refusal to consider evidence of conditions not disclosed on a Medicaid disability application does not violate federal Medicaid law and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana attorneys who represented the three named plaintiffs – William Curtis, Gary Stewart, and Walter Raines – as well as attorneys for Indiana Legal Services who frequently represent Medicaid applicants in their appeals, have expressed concern that because applicants are unsure of what is needed for successful applications, with or without assistance from a family member or social worker, they should be able to present additional evidence at appeals.

Lawyers in the attorney general’s office who represented Murphy and Casanova argued that in many cases, applicants do have someone who should be able to provide enough information to help with applications.

However, attorneys for the plaintiffs said that while this is sometimes the case, the three plaintiffs’ experiences in a relatively short amount of time led them to believe there were many more examples of failed appeals where the applicants should have been allowed to present more evidence at appeal than what was in the application.

In Curtis’ case, his caseworker advised him only to report his mental health issues and not include his orthopedic problems. Stewart, who applied so he could receive medical attention, which is a fairly common reason to apply for Medicaid, wasn’t diagnosed with his pre-existing condition of congestive heart failure until after he submitted his application. He did not know what was wrong at the time he filled out his application. Raines “either had trouble identifying his illness or he didn’t consider it disabling,” said ACLU of Indiana attorney Gavin Rose, who represents the plaintiffs.

Rehearing "Medicaid applicants facing 'tremendous hurdles'?" IL Sept. 29-Oct. 12, 2010


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues