A judge dismissed a lawsuit by Public Citizen challenging the constitutionality of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, the budget law passed in February that includes some $11 billion in Medicaid and Medicare cuts over five years. Public Citizen said the law should be struck down because the House and Senate versions of the bill included two different time frames for coverage of durable medical equipment due to a clerical error. The judge in U.S. District Court, Washington, ruled that signatures from House and Senate leadership were sufficient to legitimize the bill and cited an 1892 Supreme Court decision. Public Citizen said it plans to file an appeal. Three other challenges to the law, including one backed by congressional Democrats, are pending.
Judge rules budget act constitutional; appeal planned
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