We may find out sooner than we had hoped for as to the legality of Obamacare. The ramifications are enormous. If the States cannot determine what they will pay for a service, the States are done. Medicaid is now bankrupting our States. Obamacare will add millions more on to the State’s rolls. Free market healthcare is otherwise dead. You don’t like what you get paid from the State? Then don’t treat these patients. The Supremo’s are not expediting the case, so it will not get heard till fall, it is reported. Would have liked to see this thing settled.
Justices will hear three appeals from California, where the state has cut back Medicaid payments to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies. Those providers have successfully sued to block the cutbacks, but lawyers for the state say they have no right to sue or to demand a particular payment.
The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear an appeal from California officials and decide whether states are free to reduce how much they pay to doctors, hospitals and other providers under the Medicaid program for poor people.
Medicaid is jointly funded by the federal government and the states, but it is unclear how far states that are facing huge healthcare costs can go to reduce their spending on their own.
The California Legislature, responding to the state’s fiscal emergency, approved in recent years a series of cutbacks in the payments to physicians, hospitals and pharmacies. The aim was to save billions of dollars in Medicaid costs.
But in each case, the providers have sued in federal court and won rulings that blocked the cutbacks on the grounds that they conflicted with the Medicaid law. The providers argued that if the cutbacks were approved, the state would not provide the level of care required under Medicaid.
But lawyers for then-Attorney General Jerry Brown appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that these private parties had no right to sue the state and no right to a particular reimbursement payment.
The state officials in those cases also sought to raise other issues, about the steps that state officials must take, under federal Medicaid law, before they may cut benefit levels. The Court opted not to hear those questions, limiting its review to the same question in each case: that is, whether Medicaid recipients and providers may sue state officials, relying upon the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, to enforce federal Medicaid law as preempting state law-based reductions of reimbursement for care of the poor. More Scotus Blog