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State Supreme Court Won’t Review Decision Over Healthcare For Poor

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Aired 4/19/09

The California Supreme Court has decided not to review an appellate decision that ruled San Diego County's medical program for the poor is illegal. County officials say they've already taken steps to comply with the ruling, but others disagree. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

The court ruled the county's income cap to qualify for its Medical Services program was too strict.

In order to qualify for the program, county residents couldn't make more than $1,149 a month. The Board of Supervisors recently raised the monthly cap to just over $1,400.

The Western Center on Law and Poverty filed the suit challenging the county's program.

Attorney Katie Murphy says the new policy still violates the law.

Murphy : The 14-04 is still a strict cap, and we think it's still illegal for the same reasons that the old strict cap was -- which is: if you're one dollar over, you get nothing.

County officials argue the new limit complies with the law.

But the appellate court says counties can't set arbitrary limits that prevent the poor from getting medical care.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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