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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Supreme Court weighs case of disabled child, medical malpractice award

By Michael Doyle






JewishWorldReview.com |

W ASHINGTON— (MCT) Emily Armstrong remained in her specially equipped Taylorsville, N.C., home on Tuesday while Supreme Court justices wrangled over a legal dilemma entangling her and which defies easy solution.

As her mother, Sandra; sister, Kelsey; and father, William, a prison guard, watched in the courtroom, the justices seemed genuinely split over when and how states can take a share of medical malpractice payments awarded Medicaid beneficiaries like Emily.

"How do we know what's fair and appropriate?" Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. asked at one point.


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Profoundly disabled since an allegedly botched Caesarian section delivery, Emily turns 13 next month. She is deaf, blind and largely immobile. She does not talk. She suffers seizures and periodically requires suctioning of her airway. She needs, the family's Raleigh-based attorney William Bystrynski said following the hearing, "a tremendous amount of personal care."

A vexed-sounding Justice Stephen Breyer said that "the question here is how to figure" a patient's medical expenses, while Justice Antonin Scalia cautioned, "I don't know how you go about determining how much of a settlement is attributable to medical expenses" and therefore potentially subject to a state claim.

The court's eventual answer, expected in June, will shape how North Carolina and other states reclaim at least some of the Medicaid funds spent on a patient's care. North Carolina's current law allows the state to claim one-third of a medical malpractice settlement or judgment awarded a Medicaid patient.

"The state is saying that, as to the amount of Medicaid benefits provided, the state has the right of recovery," North Carolina Solicitor General John F. Maddrey told the court.

But attorneys for the Armstrongs, allied with the Obama administration, contend North Carolina's automatic one-third share may be excessive. They argue that while the state might set a presumption that a one-third share is appropriate, individual hearings should determine specific allocations.

"The very problem here (is) that this statute takes one-third of a settlement or judgment regardless of the true facts of the case," Raleigh-based attorney Christopher G. Browning Jr., who also represents the Armstrongs, told the court.

But save for Browning's brief reference to Emily's "absolutely horrendous injuries," the hour-long oral argument Tuesday morning centered on the technical, rather than the poignant or personal. The name Emily was never even mentioned, in keeping with court policy concerning juveniles, and the Armstrong family members declined to comment afterward.

Emily was born in February 2000, at what's now called the Catawba Valley Medical Center, in Hickory, N.C. Her severe injuries during childbirth led to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

The Armstrongs sued the obstetrician, the medical center and others, and initially pegged total damages at more than $42 million. The obstetrician, who had a history of drug abuse, voluntarily surrendered his North Carolina medical license.

North Carolina state health officials subsequently estimated that they'd spent more than $1.9 million in Medicaid funds providing medical care for Emily.

In a 2006 lawsuit settlement, the Armstrongs received $2.8 million. North Carolina officials asserted a lien on $933,333.33, one-third of the total. The state law permits North Carolina to take the lesser of either the total Medicaid spending on the patient or one-third of the court-ordered malpractice payment.

"How can you predict, particularly with a statute that wasn't based on any empirical data, that 30 percent is normally the right amount?" asked Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the most persistent critic of North Carolina's position. "You just picked it out of the air? You could pick 40, 50, 60. How do we draw the line?"

Justice Elena Kagan, likewise, raised pointed questions about whether North Carolina's one-third rule was arbitrary, though she acknowledged that "the advantage of bright-line rules is they are cheap and effective." Efficiency was also on the minds of Scalia and several other justices, who voiced skepticism about an individual hearing's ability to nail down medical expenses.

The federal Medicaid law prohibits state governments from imposing liens on Medicaid patients' property. However, a prior Supreme Court ruling specified that the ban on Medicaid liens applies only to the portion of a settlement that doesn't cover medical care, such as payments for pain and suffering.

The Armstrongs' settlement doesn't specify how much is for medical care and how much is for other factors.

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© 2013, McClatchy Washington Bureau Distributed by MCT Information Services

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