The Medicaid Expansion Was Tweaked Over Fears Of 'Threats' To States

President Obama and Supreme Court Justice John RobertsPresident Obama and Supreme Court Justice John Roberts

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

While the core of Obama’s landmark health law survived Thursday, the Supreme Court cut back on the U.S. government’s efforts to expand Medicaid after finding it would have amounted to unfair coercion of states.Under the health overhaul, if a state chose not to participate in the expansion, the federal government would have yanked all of a state’s Medicaid funding under Obamacare.

“The threatened loss of over 10 per cent of a state’s overall budget is economic dragooning that leaves the states with no real option but to acquiesce in the Medicaid expansion,” John Roberts’ majority opinion stated.

“The Medicaid expansion thus violates the Constitution by threatening States with the existing loss of Medicaid funding if they decline to comply with the expansion.”

However, Justice Roberts said the high court could fix this constitutional violation by taking away the feds’ ability to “threaten” to cut states’ funding if they choose not to participate in the expansion.

Obamacare sought to cover more low-income citizens with Medicaid, a program that gets its funding from both the states and the federal government.


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