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The ACLU of Idaho represents adults with developmental disabilities throughout the state in a case called K.W. v. Armstrong.  With functional ages of 8-years-old and below, these Idahoans rely on Medicaid assistance to live in their communities and with their families, rather than in costly institutional settings.  When the State of Idaho drastically cut their assistance to dangerously low levels, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare claimed that the reasons for the cuts were “trade secrets” and refused to disclose the formula it used to calculate the reductions.  We obtained an injunction stopping the cuts and requiring the State to make its Medicaid formulas public for all Idaho residents to review, which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld in 2015.  In March 2016, Idaho’s federal district court struck down the Department’s formula and ordered to State to develop comprehensive plans to bring its system up to constitutional muster. A class action settlement was submitted to the Court in September 2016, and is now awaiting Court approval. If approved, the settlement will require the Department of Health and Welfare to develop a new system, with input and oversight by the ACLU of Idaho and participants and their families throughout the state.



Ritchie Eppink, Molly Kafka, James Piotrowski, Marty Durand

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Herzfeld & Piotrowski, LLP

Date filed

January 18, 2012


United States District Court for the District of Idaho


B. Lynn Winmill



Case number