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Sixth Circuit: Ohio Can't Deny Medicaid Benefits By Excluding Spouses

Ohio can't deny Medicaid benefits to a senior citizen by defining family to exclude his spouse, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled.

Courthouse News' Lorraine Bailey reports that Medicare beneficiaries Leslie Wheaton, George Hart and Joe Turner did not also qualify for Medicaid benefits under a Ohio Department of Medicaid rule. That rule says that a spouse doesn't count as a member of a beneficiary's family.

Judge Raymond Kethledge opined, '"The term 'planet' might be ambiguous as applied to Pluto, but is clear as applied to Jupiter. And though there might be some ambiguity in 2015 as to whether Ukraine's borders encompass the Crimean Peninsula, there is no doubt that Kiev lies within them. So too here: whatever ambiguity the 'persons living under one roof' or 'basic unit of society' definitions might have at the margins, there is no doubt that, under either definition, a person's family includes her resident spouse."'