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Fate of Medicaid to Be Determined by Supreme Court

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Fate of Medicaid to Be Determined by Supreme Court

January 18, 2012

An article in today's edition of Politico,"Supreme Court holds the fate of Medicaid,"discusses the impact ofthe two Medicaid cases before the Supreme Court. It identifies the stakes to providers and beneficiaries regardingboth the constitutionality of the health reform law's expansion of Medicaidand California's reimbursementcase over the private right to sue the state under the Medicaid law.

Recently, some legal scholars have suggested that the Supreme Court might delay a decision in the health reform law case until after the 2012 elections dueto opinions that the issue of whether the law is constitutional is not yet ripe giventhat the Affordable Care Act'sindividual mandate provision operates as a tax law.Those opinions cite an 18th century lawthat prevents individuals from challenging their taxes until they are assessed and paid.The Department of Justice is arguing the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate"penalty"(functioning asa "tax") is not effective until 2014.

Oral arguments on the health reformlaw are scheduled for March 26, 27, and 28.The court has already heard oral arguments in the Douglas v. Independent Living Center ofSouthern California caselast October.Decisions in both cases are expected in June.