SALAZAR, et al v. DC, et al

Filing 2154

MEMORANDUM OPINION to the July 12, 2016, Order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiffs' Motion to Modify the Stay Entered on May 17, 2016. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 7/19/16. (CL)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OSCAR SALAZAR, et al., Plaintiffs, Civil Action No. 93-452 (GK) v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, et al., Defendants. MEMORANDUM OPINION On July 12, 2.016, this Court issued an Order [Dkt. No. 2150] granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff's Motion to Modify the Stay Entered on May 17, 2016 [Dkt. No. 2137]. In that Order, the Court indicated that it would provide its reasons for its decision within several weeks. The reasons upon which the Court based its decision are: 1) Initially, Settlement Order in Plaintiffs' Motion for Modification of the [Dkt. No. 2093-5], granted in part in its April 4, Plaintiffs requested that which the Court ultimately 2016 Order Defendants [Dkt. No. provide monthly 2109], the reporting regarding their compliance with the terms of the Court's April 4, 2016 Order. As the Parties know, the Court deemed this request unnecessarily burdensome. April 4, 2016 Order at 57 n. 17. In Plaintiff's latest Motion to Modify the Stay Entered on May 17, 2016 ("Pls.' Mot. To Modify the Stay") [Dkt. No. 2137], the Plaintiffs not only request the same monthly reporting that the Court had already denied, but in addition, now request even broader and more detailed monthly reporting. See Text of Proposed Order Accompanying Pls.' that Defendants "report Mot. to the format, date Medicaid by telephone, of application; applications (requesting regarding Court performance in the prior calendar month: disability ~1 To Modify the Stay (a) (whether their in processing nonsubmitted in paper or electronically) within 4 5 days of the (b) Medicaid in processing renewals and recertifications (whether submitted in paper format, by telephone, or electronically) prior to the beneficiary's termination date; (c) in processing Medicaid renewals and recertifications (whether submitted in paper format, by telephone, or electronically) prior to the end of the 90-day grace period following the beneficiary's termination date;" as well as several other subject matter areas.) Given the fact that the Court denied the initial request because it was overly burdensome, the Court is clearly not about to grant a request that would be even more burdensome. 2) Again, granted a as the Parties know, certain amount beneficiaries as of relief on April 4, 2016, the Court to Medicaid applicants requested by Plaintiffs. April 4, and 2016 Order. Thereafter, the Court stayed that Order in its May 17, 2016 Order -2- and Memorandum Defendants' Opinion [Dkt. 2134, Nos. 2135], accepting claims that they would suffer "irreparable harm" if all the relief went into effect. In response to the pending Motion, Defendants argued that there was no need for the relief Plaintiffs were seeking because the District was already providing Medicaid to any applicant or beneficiary who met Defendants' the statutory and regulatory requirements. Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Modify the Stay Entered on May 17, 2016 at 6 [Dkt. No. 2145]. In their Reply to the pending Motion have presented distressing, ("Pls.' numerous to Reply") examples, directly [Dkt. No. 2147], Plaintiffs some of which were counter statements made by most the Government. See Pls.' Reply at 5-10. The examples that Plaintiffs have submitted demonstrate that there are cases in which Defendants, for whatever reason, are not responding quickly and providing coverage in response to inquiries about delayed processing of applications. Consequently, the Court has granted Plaintiffs' request to modify the May 17, 2014 Stay to provide limited beneficiaries pending a relief who final identify to those themselves Medicaid to the applicants Medicaid ruling by the Court of Appeals Appeal of the Court's April 4, 2016 Order. -3- and agency, on Defendants' 3) that would Finally, granting cause the Government has failed to make any showing this the specific Government provision requested irreparable harm by and/or Plaintiffs excessive costs. While there may be some additional work entailed in granting Plaintiffs' request, the Court has no reason to conclude that there would be any substantial interruption in Defendants' proceed with the complex work it is doing to ensure that the requirements of the Affordable Care Act are satisfied. July 19, 2016 Copies to: attorneys on record via ECF -4- ability to

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