Supreme Court rejects Medicaid expansion provisions in health law

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U.S. Supreme Court Justices
U.S. Supreme Court Justices

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court rejected Medicaid expansion provisions in the new healthcare law. However, the court ruled that an individual mandate to purchase health insurance is constitutional.

For long-term care providers, the ruling is likely to have both dramatic and tertiary effects. In its Medicaid verdict, the court ruled that Congress overstepped its authority when it said states must provide expanded coverage to about 17 million more people over the next decade.

This new announcement would appear to be a mixed blessing for long-term care operators. The law would have added millions of non-frail, non-elderly seniors to Medicaid's rolls. This rejection means that skilled care providers will likely have to compete with fewer other healthcare providers for Medicaid funding. The Supreme Court's decision will likely redefine the limits of Congress' power.

Today's ruling will almost certainly also influence the presidential contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney, the likely Republican candidate.

President Obama is expected to address the nation about the ruling later today.

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