Ketchum's dissent prompted Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to introduce a bill that would require that the state Department of Health and Human Services be notified when Medicaid recipients or their survivors file for damage awards.
The Medicaid program would then become a party to the case. The governor's bill would also specify that the department approve the terms of any settlement.
Well, it's a start, but it doesn't go nearly far enough.
This child's situation is tragic, and his mother's life is changed forever. But the taxpayers are clearly stakeholders in such cases.
They get to pay for the care, and the recipients of free care get to collect what lawyers call "substantial cash awards"?
That idea is a non-starter. Public support for Medicaid is at risk here as well,.
The state should also require full disclosure of attorneys' fees in each case.
If taxpayers are the new deep pocket, they have a right to know how much plaintiffs and their attorneys get out of targeting them.