Twelve state attorneys general file brief in support the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion

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Chris Gregoire
Chris Gregoire

The attorneys general of 12 states, plus one governor, filed an amicus brief last week with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid.

The friend-of-the-court brief urges the court to disregard arguments made by plaintiffs in Florida and 25 other states, who say the law's 2014 expansion of Medicaid is “coercive” and “an attack on the federalist system.”

The ACA requires states to expand Medicaid coverage to all individuals younger than 65 with incomes of up to 133% of the poverty level. Opponents argue that this expansion would strain state budgets and have asked the court to apply the “coercion doctrine” in this case.

However, the state attorneys general argue that the Medicaid provision is not coercive because state participation in Medicaid is voluntary and states can withdraw from it.

The state attorneys general represent California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Vermont. Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) also joined the brief.

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