Legal analysts say that part of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the federal health-care law will encourage states to challenge education laws and other federal aid programs and legislation passed under Congress’ spending power, a pivotal aspect of the historic ruling.
The justices ruled 5-4 to uphold a key provision of the Affordable Care Act—the requirement that individuals purchase a health-insurance policy with at least a minimum level of coverage—as a valid exercise under Congress’ taxing power. But the court effectively ruled 7-2 that the states could not be threatened with the loss of their existing Medicaid funding if they refused to participate in the law’s expansion of the federal health-care program for the poor.
That portion of the June 28 decision in National Federation of Independent Businessv. Sebelius (Case No. 11-393) could open the door to lawsuits over the spending strings attached to federal programs—or even the conditions for securing federal waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act, some commentators say.
“I think it’s a very big deal,” said Samuel R. Bagenstos, a law professor at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, who helped write a friend-of-the-court brief in support of President Barack Obama’s administration and the Medicaid expansion. “The result of this decision will be that states will file a lot of challenges to the constitutionality of federal spending statutes and conditions. There will be a lot of litigation in the courts.
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i'm the leftist liberal you've been warned about - the one who genuinely supports the expansion of the welfare state. i love politics and data and graffiti and street art and am far too lazy to use my shift key. if you need to reach me, you can email to abbyjean at the google email service.