KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

High Court’s Review Of Health Law’s Medicaid Expansion ‘Very Serious’ Issue

CQ HealthBeat: Medicaid 'Very Serious' Issue In Health Care Challenge, States' Lawyer Says
One of the top lawyers representing those challenging the health care law said Monday that even opponents were surprised that the Supreme Court ordered arguments on the measure's Medicaid expansion. And a second plaintiff attorney characterized it as a "very serious issue" that goes to the heart of the question of the overhaul's constitutionality. Their remarks again underlined the significance of the unexpected entry into the legal fight of the law's provision that states must expand their Medicaid rolls to uninsured adults earning less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level. States say that requirement usurps a traditional federal-state partnership and crosses the line into coercion because if they opt out, they’d have to give up the federal Medicaid funding that makes up a large portion of state budgets (Norman, 1/24).

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