Prof. Wade Henderson and Former Antioch Dean Ron Pollack Opinion in The Washington Post
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
Wade Henderson (President and CEO of The Leadership Conference and the Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Chair of Public Interest Law) and Ron Pollack (former Dean of the Antioch School of Law and Executive Director of Families USA) published an opinion article in The Washington Post arguing the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act's expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program for the poor.
Prof. Wade Henderson and Ron Pollack write, "Contrary to nearly universal expectations, the justices decided to review the constitutionality of the law’s expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program for the poor.
Throughout the 47-year history of the Medicaid program, Congress has expanded eligibility for low-income children, pregnant mothers, seniors and people with disabilities. Significantly, there has never been a successful challenge, at any court level, of these expansions.
In essence, the plaintiff states argue that the federal government’s funding for Medicaid is so great that they cannot afford to decline it by disobeying the new expansion requirement. It is this generosity, they argue, that constitutes the new law’s unconstitutional "coercion.”
If the court accepts this argument, then any significant federal initiative in the future would be in jeopardy if that initiative were tied to the achievement of key objectives — such as protecting the environment, strengthening civil rights, improving educational opportunities or enabling a health program for the poor to actually serve the poor. Such a ruling would handcuff the federal government and undermine accountability of public expenditures."
Read the full opinion in The Washington Post, "The Supreme Court's other monumental health-care hearing"