Medicaid recipients across Florida accuse the state of illegally forcing them to live in nursing homes.
A federal lawsuit seeks class-action status.
Obtaining Medicaid-supported services at home is substantially harder than getting placed in a nursing home and often involves a long waiting list, even though it may actually cost less.
Advocates charge that nursing homes have successfully pressured politicians to make qualifying for community care more difficult.
The defendants claim the plaintiffs want the courts "to second-guess" the way Florida has chosen to make services available in light of the state's available resources.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)