United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Civil Rights — Rehabilitation Act
Cuts in the amount of subsidies available under the Wisconsin Care Program do not violate the Rehabilitation Act.
“[P]laintiffs’ theory is that any reduction that leaves them unable to remain in group homes that their physicians or other providers think the optimal placement for them is forbidden ‘discrimination.’ That is untenable, unless the state is providing other groups of disabled persons with whatever care, in whatever location, their physicians most favor, and plaintiffs do not contend this. Plaintiffs tell us nothing about what kind of care persons with other disabilities receive in Wisconsin. Their sole argument is that Wisconsin reduced their own subsidies. Apart from the possibility (which is unripe) that the reduction may lead to undue institutionalization, this is not a theory of ‘discrimination’ at all. It is a claim of absolute entitlement. Perhaps such a claim could be made under the Medicaid Act (a principal source of funds for the Wisconsin Care Program), but plaintiffs told the district court, and repeated at oral argument on appeal, that they are not contending that Wisconsin has violated the duties it assumed when joining the Medicaid program.”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Crabb, J., Easterbrook, J.