Medicaid’s Supreme Court Battle

Published October 7, 2011

This week the U.S. Supreme Court heard a critical case, Toby Douglas vs. The Independent Living Center of the United States, concerning state vs. federal power on the issue of Medicaid.

You can read more about the case here, in this interview with one of the counselors. Here’s an excerpt:

SK: One interesting thing about this case is that it’s split Democrats. Some Congressional Democrats have written an amicus brief in support of your case, while the Obama administration has supported California’s right to make the rate cut without challenge. Are you worried to go into the courtroom with the White House supporting the other side?  

LB: We found that decision by the White House, besides very disheartening, also very curious. Health and Human Services hasn’t signed onto the solicitor general’s brief, which is unusual. It indicates to us that there’s some disagreement within the administration about what the outcome should be. We did do some research though, looking at previous cases that have been supported our opposed by the solicitor general, and it frankly it doesn’t seem to matter. Although we’d obviously prefer to have them on our side, we’re not thinking it will affect the material outcome.

Maureen Martin, legal expert for The Heartland Institute, joined me for a podcast on the subject to explain the intricate legal issues at the heart of the case.