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Judge Sets Hearing On Massive Medicaid Settlement

A Miami federal judge agreed Friday to schedule a June 28 hearing to formally bless a settlement in a massive class-action lawsuit over children's Medicaid services in Florida.

Pediatricians are optimistic the state will live up to the agreement to increase medical and dental services to some 2 million Florida children, says their attorney, Carl Goldfarb.

"Like any settlement, it's a compromise. Both sides gave certain things up. But we think it's in the best interest of the children of the state and we think it will improve their access to care."

Doctors and dentists sued more than a decade ago, alleging that Medicaid reimbursements were so low in Florida that more than 500,000 children on Medicaid were not getting preventative care.

The settlement calls for some pediatricians to get significantly higher payments. U.S. District Judge Aldalberto Jordan set the hearing for 9 a.m. at the James L. King Justice Center in Miami.

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Jim Ash is a reporter at WFSU-FM. A Miami native, he is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.
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