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Judge Hears Health Advocacy Groups' Lawsuit

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal judge says he may rule as early as next week on a lawsuit accusing the state of failing to provide certain services required by the federal health care law.

U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell on Friday heard the lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Tennessee Justice Center and the National Health Law Program.

It accuses the state of not providing in-person assistance and forcing applicants to apply for TennCare through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace website, which the lawsuit says was not designed for that purpose.

The lawsuit also accuses the state of failing to let people know within 45 days if they're eligible for Medicaid and doesn't provide a hearing if there's a delay in the eligibility decision.

However, state attorneys said the burden should be on the federal government to adjudicate plaintiffs' applications.

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