KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicaid Questions Complete The Court’s Health Law Review

At some points during the Supreme Court's consideration of the health law's Medicaid expansion, conservative justices not only questioned this provision of the law, but the program itself.  

NPR: Medicaid Expansion Caps Supreme Court Arguments
The key issue is whether the health law's expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor unfairly compels the participation of states. Many considered this to be the weakest part of the states' challenge to the health law, and during Wednesday afternoon's arguments, that seemed to be the case (Hensley, 3/28).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: A Medicaid Twist In Health-Law Arguments
In an interesting turn Wednesday, the Supreme Court's conservative justices repeatedly questioned not just the expansion of Medicaid but the basis for the entire program. That raised the possibility, however remote, of a ruling that would throw out a 47-year-old pillar of the nation’s health-care system along with the two-year-old Obama health law (Landers, 3/28).

The Washington Post: On Health-Care Hearing's Last Day, Supreme Court Weighs Medicaid Expansion
The court’s divisions were on vivid display Wednesday during a discussion of the law’s Medicaid expansion, which gives states more federal money if they agree to enroll more of the poor. States can refuse, but only if they pull out of the program altogether. The states challenging the legislation say that is not an option. The Medicaid program has grown so large that it is impossible to forgo federal funding and still provide medical care to the poor, they say (Barnes and Aizenman, 3/28).

Politico: States Get Tough SCOTUS Questions On Medicaid
The Supreme Court's liberal justices hammered the health care reform law's opponents with tough questions about their objections to the law's Medicaid expansion Wednesday — and even Chief Justice John Roberts sounded skeptical of the states' argument that the law makes unreasonable demands on their Medicaid programs. The conservative justices stayed mostly silent during the early part of Wednesday's arguments on the Medicaid expansion, letting the liberal justices dominate the discussion more than they did during the court’s past sessions (Haberkorn, 3/28).

Modern Healthcare: Medicaid Arguments Close Out Health-Reform Challenge
No U.S. HHS secretary has ever cut off Medicaid funding for a state that refused to abide by the conditions for federal matching money in the healthcare program for the poor and needy. But that doesn't mean no secretary has ever threatened to do so (Carlson, 3/28).

NewsHour: Medicaid Expansion: Good Or Bad For America?
If the health care reform law pushes forward as planned, 16 million more Americans will receive health care coverage through the federal Medicaid program by 2014. ... we broke down the basics with Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal ... For two more perspectives on the expansion, we turn to Tom Miller, a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and Ron Pollack, the founding executive director of the left-leaning Families USA. Our basic question: Is the Medicaid expansion good or bad for America? (Kane and Bowser, 3/28).

Kaiser Health News excerpted highlights from the Medicaid arguments.

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