James Blumstein addresses constitutional challenges to health reform

Dec 7, 2010

James F. Blumstein, University Professor of Constitutional Law and Health Law and Policy, delivered a presentation, "Constitutional Challenges to Health Reform: The Expanded Medicare Mandate" at a forum, "Who's in Charge? More Legal Challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," at the American Enterprise Institute on December 6.

Professor Blumstein concludes that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) overreaches federal authority by imposing new conditions on state Medicaid programs. He argues that PPACA reflects a modification of the federal-state Medicaid contract and that less deference is owed to conditions imposed on federal contract modification as distinct from original contract formation–when states entered the Medicaid program initially.

"Where a substantial modification of an ongoing federal spending program such as Medicaid occurs and affects a substantial portion of a state's budget, the federal government may not use its leverage to impose new conditions as a program modification," he said.

Read a U.S. Law Week article on the Affordable Care Act that reports on the expanded Medicaid issue.

Reproduced with permission from The United States Law Week, 79 U.S.L.W. 1773 (Dec. 21, 2010). opyright 2010 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com

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