Axios’ Caitlin Owens says the next Supreme Court justice could give states more power to cut Medicaid. The legal issue in question is whether private health care providers can sue over Medicaid payment rates. The Supreme Court ruled in 1990 that they could, and Anthony Kennedy dissented in that case — but took less of a hard-line stance than other conservatives. He “was willing to leave the courthouse doors open in Medicaid cases, whereas the conservative majority is willing to shut it – I mean, really slam it,” Sara Rosenbaum, a George Washington University law professor, told Axios.
Kennedy’s replacement could provide a fifth vote to prevent private providers from suing, giving states plenty of leeway to make cuts to their Medicaid programs without the threat of legal action.
Owens notes that Kansas and Louisiana have asked the Supreme Court to consider whether they can exclude Planned Parenthood from their Medicaid programs, and whether the group can challenge that exclusion.