AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation reacted today to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the requirement that state governments expand Medicaid under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The Supreme Court rejected the previous findings of the lower courts regarding Medicaid expansion and largely concurred with the arguments set forth in the amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court by the Foundation on January 17, 2012.

“A silver lining in this decision,” said Foundation President Brooke Rollins, “is the Supreme Court’s ruling that Congress cannot change the rules for Medicaid to force the states to comply with a massive restructuring of the program – or else lose 10 percent of their budgets. This, at least, protects to some extent the prerogatives of the states under the Tenth Amendment.”

“When we drafted the amicus brief for the U.S. Supreme Court on the Medicaid expansion under PPACA, we hoped that it would help the Court better understand that the Medicaid portion of the act was coercive to the point of commandeering state governments into the service of federal policy,” said Mario Loyola, Director of the Foundation’s Center for Tenth Amendment Studies and lead author on the brief.

“That at least seven of the Justices agreed with our position – which dramatically strengthens the coercion doctrine of South Dakota v. Dole as a protection for the prerogatives of state governments – is a resounding victory for the Constitution and its Tenth Amendment,” Loyola said. “It is also a testament to value of the Foundation’s work in the area of federalism and constitutional law. Though there is much work left to be done in repealing the remainder of this bad law, and moving towards a patient-centered free market vision of health care, we can at least take heart in this part of the Court’s ruling.”

The Foundation’s January 17, 2012 amicus brief to the Supreme Court on Medicaid and Florida v. HHS may be found here.

Brooke Rollins is president and chief executive officer of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Mario Loyola is Director of the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.

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