North Country News, New England News
4:03 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Medicaid Concerns in Wake of Supreme Court Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the Affordable Care Act, but did limit the federal government’s funding plan for the expansion of Medicaid.  That is causing concern, and some confusion.

The Affordable Care Act proposes an increase in federal funding to help states expand Medicaid coverage. But if a state does not comply with the Act’s new coverage requirements, it would lose all of its federal Medicaid funds.  The Supreme Court characterized that as coercion and ruled that the government could not cut off all funds if a state chooses not to expand Medicaid. It could only withhold federal payments related to the expansion. New York Congressman Bill Owens.

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare President and CEO Max Richtman is pleased with the overall decision, but is concerned about the Medicaid restrictions.

National Senior Citizens Law Center Executive Director Paul Nathanson says more analysis is needed to understand how the decision will affect the Medicaid program.

The Vermont Workers’ Center spearheads the Healthcare is a Human Right campaign.  President Peg Franzen says the court decision reinforces their conclusion that the health care system is broken.

The National Federation of Independent Business, 26 states and some individuals had challenged the Medicaid expansion.  Justices Roberts, Breyer and Kagan concluded that the expansion as written is invalid.