Professor Timothy S. Jost, the Robert L. Willett Family Professor of Law, recently had his article, Is Medicaid Constitutional? posted on the New England Journal of Medicine’s Perspective Blog.
The article discusses the expansion of Medicaid by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the ACA, Medicaid coverage was brought to cover all adults under 65 who have an income below 138% of the federal poverty level. Through 2016, the federal government will pay 100% of this expansion but will phase down to 90% by 2020. The part under question is the requirement that states cover the newly eligible population to receive any federal Medicaid funding. The 26 states bring the lawsuit argue that this requirement is paramount to coercion that turns mere pressure into compulsion. Prof. Jost discusses the potential ramifications should the Court find the Medicaid expansion too coercive and the impact may very well expand beyond the health care arena.