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Judge rules 11,000 can rejoin state health plan

SEATTLE – To help balance the state budget, Washington kicked 17,000 people off its Basic Health Plan in March. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the state to invite 11,000 of them to rejoin the subsidized health care program.

U.S. District Court Judge James Robart said the state had violated constitutional and due-process rights when it kicked thousands of legal immigrants off Basic Health in March, reported.

The state found it could save nearly $10 million by deciding certain people, including children, seniors and legal immigrants, were ineligible because they hadn’t lived in the country for at least five years.

Advocates filed a class-action lawsuit in April.

A spokeswoman for the state’s Health Care Authority said the potential financial impact to the state was not immediately clear.