The BNA Health Law Reporter story today (gated and unlinkable) was fairly negative for the Administration, quoting various Republican sources on the supposedly easy victory by Maine in the pending First Circuit case. Maine is claiming that the Obamacare case also struck down the maintenance-of-effort (MOE) provisions that stop states from cutting some Medicaid benefits before January 1, 2014 ( the motion is here).
Needless to say, there is another side to this story. The MOE issue was briefed before the Supreme Court, but the Court did not rule on it at all. Maine is arguing for an extension in the coercion doctrine, not settled law. For 60 pages of contrary analysis, see my forthcoming article in the BU Law Review (co-authored with Huberfeld and Leonard).
Politics may be a different story. It’s not clear if the Administration wants this fight before the election.
Previous TIE coverage on this lawsuit by Aaron and the coming waves of Medicaid coercion cases by your truly.
UPDATE: Today’s NEJM reports a study showing that the adult Medicaid expansion in the last decade in Arizona, New York and Maine saved lives by reducing mortality compared to control states. This is the very population at risk under the coercion theory.