Issue Brief: Private Enforcement of the Medicaid Act Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983

Executive Summary

Federal law allows Medicaid beneficiaries and applicants to enforce their health care rights in court when states do not comply with the Medicaid Act. While individuals have historically used a civil rights law, § 1983 (42 U.S.C. § 1983), to enforce their rights, courts have narrowed this avenue. This Issue Brief provides background and discusses trends affecting private enforcement of the Medicaid Act under § 1983.

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