KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Justices Hear Arguments In Calif. Medicaid Case

Justices will hear arguments today regarding California's plan to cut Medicaid payments to doctors, hospitals and other medical providers in an effort to address the state's budget issues. Experts say the case has national implications because its central issue involves states' rights to regulate their Medicaid programs.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: First Monday In October Marks Start Of New Supreme Court Term; Justices To Hear Medicaid Case
The Supreme Court is beginning a term expected to be dominated by health care with arguments Monday in a closely watched case involving the Medicaid program for poor Americans. … [T]he justices will hear arguments in a case that centers on California's plan to cut Medicaid payments to doctors, hospitals and other medical providers to close the state's budget gap (10/3).

The Hill: Supreme Court To Hear Case On Medicaid Rates
The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday in a health care case that pits states against the federal government — and Democrats against Democrats. At issue is whether patients and health care providers can sue to block states from cutting their Medicaid rates. The suit was filed after California proposed a series of Medicaid cuts, some as high as 10 percent. The Obama administration has taken the state's side, saying patients and doctors don't have a right to sue over Medicaid payment rates. But Democratic leaders in Congress — including Minority Leader Nancy Pelsoi and Rep. Henry Waxman, both from California — have filed a brief arguing that Congress intended for the courts to serve as a check on state cuts (Baker, 10/2).

Modern Healthcare: Supreme Court Starts Fall Term with Calif. Medicaid Case
The Supreme Court is dedicating the first case of its fall term Monday morning to hearing arguments over whether private parties have a right to sue states in order to block cuts in Medicaid rates. The case, Douglas vs. Independent Living Center of Southern California, pits the rights of states to regulate their costly Medicaid programs against the rights of patients to have high-enough reimbursement rates that health care providers will accept patients who use government insurance. Experts say the case has national implications, with cash-strapped states across the country slashing Medicaid funding to balance budgets (Carlson, 10/2).

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