175 F. Supp.2d 60 (2001) | Cited 0 times | D. Maine | November 28, 2001

Before the Court for action is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss theComplaint (Docket No. 3). The motion is premised principally upon theproposition put forward by Defendants that 42 U.S.C. § 1983 does notprovide to Plaintiffs herein "a private right of action" (read "standing")to achieve redress for the State of Maine's alleged violation of therequirement imposed by the Medicaid Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(8), seealso 42 C.F.R. § 435.930(a), that medical assistance covered by theAct be "furnished with reasonable promptness to all eligibleindividuals." Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Memorandum, Docket No. 3at 3. The Court has carefully reviewed all written submissions of theparties on the motion and has read many of the cases cited therein. Themotion will be DENIED.

Defendants' arguments in support of the proposition put forward in themotion, while intellectually intriguing, are a didactic exercise inhistorical legal formalisms, apparently inspired by the musings ofJustice Scalia in his concurring opinion in Blessing v. Freestone,520 U.S. 329, 349, 117 S.Ct. 1353, 137 L.Ed.2d 569 (1997), seeDefendants' Memorandum at 4, that have been rejected in the jurisprudenceof this circuit as formulated by the Court of Appeals for the FirstCircuit and several of the circuit's district courts. Visiting NurseAssn. of North Shore, Inc. v. Bullen, 93 F.3d 997, 1005 (1st Cir. 1996)(" . . . [w]e conclude that plaintiffs possess standing to enforce thesubstantive section 1396a(a)(30) [of 42 U.S.C.] requirement that theState adopt `methods and procedures' which will afford `equal access' tomedical care as defined [therein]"); see Albiston v. Maine Comm. of HumanSvcs. 7 F.3d 258, 269 (1st Cir. 1993) ("We hold that individual AFDCrecipients possess standing to bring a private action against the State,under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, to enforce their right to promptdisbursement of their child-support entitlements under Titles IV-A and IV-Dof the Social Security Act.").

The luminously clear and structurally precise analytical rationalecrafted in those two cases by Judge Cyr for the Court in resolving suchissues fits perfectly to the facts of this case, and that analysis, hereapplied, dictates the same result that it did in those cases: that theprivate right here challenged exists and that Plaintiffs have standing tosue the State to seek the relief they seek in enforcement of the"reasonable promptness" requirement.

The force of the contrary rationale of Westside Mothers v. Haveman,133 F. Supp.2d 549 (E.D.Mich. 2001), on which Defendants here principallyrely, putting aside that it is not controlling precedent in thiscircuit, is further badly depleted by the fact that another case from thesame district specifically rejects the Westside Mothers rationale.Markva v. Haveman, 2001 WL 1215367 at *10-12, ___ F. Supp.2d ___,(E.D.Mich., Oct. 11, 2001).1 No case has been found adopting its'reasoning on anything like an issue similar to that generated here. I donot find it to be a persuasive authority.

The motion is hereby DENIED.


1. Its force is further weakened by the fact that other district courts,albeit in unpublished opinions, have also rejected its holding. Bryson v.Shumway, Civ. No. 99-558-M, 2001 WL 1326578 (D.N.H., Oct. 23, 2001),Memisovski v. Patla, No. 92 C 1982, 2001 WL 1249615 (N.D.Ill., Oct. 17,2001).

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